BARONESS MONE OF MAYFAIR OBE
Lady (Michelle) Mone, Baroness of Mayfair OBE, is one of the most sought-after business speakers of our time. Recently voted the UK’s Number 1 female speaker, she is regarded as one of Britain’s most influential business figures; both as an entrepreneur and as an advocate of equality for women in business.
Founder of Ultimo Brands International, the UK’s former leading lingerie brand for two decades, Michelle set out with a vision of helping woman look and feel their very best. It was upon that simple concept Baroness Mone built her career and influence, being honoured with a Life Peerage to the House of Lords by the Prime Minister and an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for her outstanding contributions to business.
Baroness Mone grew up in the impoverished East End of Glasgow when, at the age of fifteen, her father fell ill and was subsequently declared paraplegic and wheelchair bound for life. This forced Michelle to leave school without any qualifications in search of full-time employment, which sparked her instinct for entrepreneurship. At the age of just 22, she excelled herself to Head of Sales and Marketing in Scotland for the Glasgow-based Labatt’s Brewers, however was made redundant after two short years.
In 1996, after only six weeks out of work, Michelle was at a dinner dance wearing a very uncomfortable cleavage enhancing bra. It was here the Baroness had an epiphany on what the lingerie industry was missing, and the world famous Ultimo bra was born.
After the launch of Ultimo, Michelle quickly established herself as one of Scotland’s best exports, winning the World Young Business Achiever Award in 2000 at the Epcot Centre in Florida, as well as Business Woman of the Year at the Corporate Elite Awards in London. Her status as one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs was confirmed soon after when Prince Charles invited her to join the board of Directors for The Prince’s Trust.
In October 2005, Michelle attended a speaking event with former US president Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, leading to her involvement in setting up the Women’s Enterprise Project in the Middle East in support of The Sultan of Oman. It was then she began to realise that her experiences and wisdom could transform lives and inspire others in the face of adversity.
Despite facing a challenging few years in her private life, suffering an acrimonious divorce and battle to retain her business, Michelle is now one of the United Kingdom’s most notable global speakers. The Baroness has inspired, coached and mentored audiences and individuals in over 50 countries over the last two decades. This culminated in being asked by the Prime Minister David Cameron to conduct The Mone Review; an insight into helping start-up businesses in deprived areas. Michelle was also a high-profile member of the ‘Better Together’ team during the run-up to the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum.
Towards the end of 2014, the proud mother of Rebecca, Declan and Bethany proceeded to sell Ultimo to global lingerie giants MAS Holdings – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of intimates, with a $1.4 billion turnover and 63,000 employees. Michelle then decided to focus on her speaking, mentoring as well as her love of design.
Michelle’s talent for design also led to the 2017 launch of Michelle Mone Interiors. Michelle’s global interior design business saw unprecedented press and huge excitement throughout the industry. Michelle has collated Britain’s best interior specialists, architects and surveyors to give her clients an unrivalled personal and professional service transforming luxury homes, businesses and developments across the world.
September 2017 saw Michelle launching one of her biggest ventures yet. A £250 million development of two luxury apartment towers and shopping mall in the heart of Dubai. It was Michelle’s first joint business venture with her Partner, businessman and philanthropist Doug Barrowman, the Chairman of the Knox group of companies. This development is unique due to the fact the initial tranche of 150 apartments was for the first time available to the cryptocurrency community to buy directly from the property developer in Bitcoin. In total, a whole tower was sold in Bitcoin and Conventional Currency. All communal areas of the Towers are designed by Michelle Mone Interiors. All apartments benefit from Michelle’s luxurious, aspirational and British-inspired interior design and furniture services – which as a world’s first, was also priced in Bitcoin.
Alongside Michelle’s long-standing passion for retail and design, February 2018 saw Michelle venturing again in to the world of technology and crypto- currency, this time with the launch of EQUI, her most ambitious venture yet. Michelle joined forces with Doug Barrowman to launch EQUI – a cryptocurrency-powered investment platform underpinned by secure blockchain technology. EQUI has opened-up venture capital to a wider audience, providing access to vetted, early-stage high-growth tech companies. EQUI champions high-tech innovators and entrepreneurs, providing a new route to investment – something Michelle personally feels very passionate about. More than this, businesses brought on to the EQUI platform benefit from the guidance of two of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, Michelle and Doug.
Alongside these ventures and her continued investment in growing businesses, Michelle is also looking to broaden her reach through an exciting new initiative which involves supporting, mentoring and guiding entrepreneurs. Connect 2 Michelle Mone, which launches in Spring 2018, is a business and lifestyle app which enables Michelle to connect to her millions of followers and fans worldwide. Business mentoring on this level is rare, and this exclusive access to Michelle’s world is unprecedented. For the very first time, everyone and anyone, anywhere, can benefit from Michelle’s mentoring, business tips and video content via Connect 2 Michelle Mone.
Michelle continues her work with the House of Lords and as start-up business Tsar for the UK Government. April 2018 also saw Michelle giving an impassioned speech focusing on the Obesity Health Epidemic in the UK.
2018 is set to be a busy year for Michelle and her role as Baroness of Mayfair.