Business woman and Apprentice star, Karren Brady, said that promoting women and equality were the issues close to her heart, as she took up the role of Small Business Ambassador at the Conservative Party Conference today. As she re-counted her achievements as Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club and, after its flotation, as the youngest Managing Director of a UK PLC, she said that of all her achievements: “Most proudly and most importantly, when I sold my business in 2009, 75% of the senior management team running that business were women.”
Promoting women and equality are issues that are really close to my heart. I believe when I went to Birmingham someone opened a door for me. And it’s my job, and I take it as a professional and personal responsibility, to keep that door open as long as possible and as wide as possible to get as many women through it as possible.
I passionately believe that small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy… I know the sacrifices you make to run a business because I’ve made them myself. The 60 hour weeks, juggling family life and business life, the boardroom, sports days. Staying awake at night worrying about where you’re going to get a loan to grow your business, how you’re going to pay your wage bill, when you’re going to take on your next employee. I know that when you start a business, you are everything to that business: the managing director, the finance director, the marketing director, the receptionist and even the tea-maker. And I know that that can sometimes be lonely.
Brady pledged: “I will do all I can to help, promote and listen to the people who don’t always have a voice. I know how vital it is that Government supports business wherever and whenever it can.”
You can view Karren Brady’s full speech below: