Ultimo founder Michelle Mone appointed entrepreneurship tsar to encourage business start-ups in disadvantaged area

Mone will examine barriers faced by people in areas with high unemployment rates.

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The Independent Online

The former model and founder of Ultimo Michelle Mone has been appointed to lead a review looking into ways to support new business start-ups in areas with high unemployment rates.

Mone, a former Labour supporter who is reportedly to be made a Conservative peer, left school in Glasgow at 15 with no qualifications, but went on to launch the underwear brand Ultimo in 1996 and is now worth an estimated £20 million.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said people living in disadvantaged areas faced additional barriers to starting up a successful business. Mone’s review will target those who face the most obstacles in disadvantaged communities.

"I am delighted Michelle has agreed to lead this review,” he said. “There's no-one I can think of that's better qualified to help young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds to turn a good idea into a flourishing business.

"We used to be known as a nation of shopkeepers. I want Michelle to report back to me on how we can encourage people of all backgrounds to take up this entrepreneurial spirit.”

Ms Mone said: "My philosophy is that it does not matter where you are from, what education you have, or if you are from an affluent background or not, you can make it if you work hard, set your goals and never give up.

"I'll be travelling across the UK to talk to and listen to people and groups from all backgrounds. I want to learn about the barriers they are facing and what changes are needed.

"A truly modern and successful economy needs to be able to unleash the entrepreneurial energy or skills of everyone in society.”

Additional reporting by the Press Association