[Photo courtesy of Woman & Home - Liz McAulay]
Karren Brady began her career at LBC when she was 18 years old and moved swiftly onto Saatchi & Saatchi as an Account Handler. She joined Sport Newspapers in 1988 and became a Director within a year.
Karren was known as the first woman when she became Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club in 1993, and turned the club's fortunes around. She took over Birmingham City when it was in liquidation, and in her first year at the helm, the club recorded a financial trading profit. In 1996 the club made an overall profit for the first time in modern history and in February 1997 the club launched on the stock market valued at the time of float at £25,000,000 and she was the youngest Managing Director of a PLC in the UK.
Karren increased the average gate of the club from 6,000 to over 25,000 and has made many constructive changes at Birmingham City Football Club and her community projects; such as 'Kids for a Quid' scheme, the Family Stand, the Community Classroom and other similar initiatives have been emulated and copied elsewhere. The club now offers the most comprehensive range of services from Financial to Personal (mortgages, insurance, loans, credit cards, petrol cards, savings accounts, training services and funerals).. It was successfully sold in 2009 to Far East investors.
Karren attracted much media attention as the highest placed woman in football and was the subject of an hour long documentary 'Inside Story - The Real Life Manageress' shown on BBC1. She has also hosted her own TV show, 'Brady Bunch' and presented both 'Loose Women' and 'Live Talk' on ITV.
In 2006 she survived brain surgery and was back at work firing on all cylinders shortly afterwards. In 2007 she took part in Comic Relief does the Apprentice, and led the winning female team.
In 2009 it was announced she would be Sir Alan Sugar's new right hand woman in The Apprentice from 2010.
Since the takeover of West Ham by David Gold and David Sullivan in early 2010, Karren became vice chairman of the club. She is also a England 2018 Board Member, a non executive director of Mothercare, chairman of Kerrang! and non executive director of Sport England.
She is regularly featured in the news, on TV and radio. Karren has written three books; a factual account of her first season at Birmingham City and two novels; 'Trophy Wives' and 'United' and has written for numerous newspapers and magazines.
In August 2014 she was appointed a member of the House of Lords.
We were delighted that you were able to engage the audience so well and your inspirational story was the perfect way for us to end the three days.
BCSC on Karren Brady who spoke at their Shopping Centre Management Conference
Sir Alan's assistant on The Apprentice and Vice Chairman of West Ham. Previously at Birmingham City, she turned the club form bankruptcy to profit, especially exploiting affinity deals - everything from credit cards to funerals! She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2014.
Best known as a Dragon's Den panellist and CEO of private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw. He founded the Alexander Mann Group in 1985, an executive head hunting firm with a turnover in excess of £300m and operations in 50 countries, which he sold in 2002.
David is a football entrepreneur and successful businessman who speaks about the business of football and the formation of the Premier League, of which he was a key instigator. The Premier League is now the most successful football league in the world while the story of its inception takes in subjects such as change and communication.
Award winning businesswomen and former Dragon in the Dragon's Den, Hilary is an outstanding model for female entrepreneurs. After gaining a wealth of experience in the distribution sector she set up her own business, now the UK's no 1 palletised freight distribution network.
The first female winner of The Apprentice. Michelle now runs her own business consultancy, has set up a new business, Chiconomy, and is a popular speaker at business events.
Business, technology and leadership speaker. Julie has backed a swathe of tech entrepreneurs in Europe for 2 decades, and specialises in finding fast-growing tech firms that can both disrupt and help transform large established enterprises; she calls them David's versus Goliaths! She also talks about the need for feminine leadership skills in the modern world, especially when dealing with remote teams; that’s not to say only women can be leaders, many women don’t have them, while many men do, but it’s the mindset and focus on soft skills.
Founder of lingerie firm, MJM International and popular motivational speaker. Her ranges include Michelle at George, Ultimo Bras and a chain of concessions at Debenhams stores. Spoke and hosted the IoD Jersey Awards to great acclaim.
Michelle Mone OBE