Ultimo founder has ‘inspirational’ visit to Sunderland’s Foundation of Light

Entrepreneur Michelle Mone (left) with Lynne-Marie Betteridge and Chris Towers.
Entrepreneur Michelle Mone (left) with Lynne-Marie Betteridge and Chris Towers.
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A leading underwear businesswoman met with students in Sunderland.

Entrepreneur Michelle Mone, who launched the Ultimo brand, came to the city to learn how Sunderland AFC’s registered charity, Foundation of Light, is inspiring the business people of the future.

Lady Mone observed a Premier League Enterprise session at Sandhill View Academy delivered by foundation staff as part of her Government review tour aimed at tackling the barriers local entrepreneurs face starting a successful business.

Using Sunderland AFC and the North East’s biggest companies as business examples, Foundation of Light’s Premier League Enterprise programme empowers young people to achieve and raise aspirations through a series of activities focusing on topics such as enterprise, business and the world of work.

Developing skills such as leadership, team-work, financial capability and problem solving, Enterprise also focuses on risk taking, creativity, innovation, communication and business responsibilities.

The foundation has also delivered the project to teachers in Africa, in partnership with the Premier League and The British Council, demonstrating how to introduce basic business principles to their students through the power of football.

Lady Mone said: “My visit to the Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light was inspirational. It was great to learn about how the foundation is working with local schools and businesses to give young people the chance to learn about enterprise.

“I was impressed to hear the children’s ideas for setting up their own businesses when I observed the enterprise class at Sandhill View Academy.

“Making sure young people like these can fulfil their potential is precisely why I’m carrying out my government review into how to support more people tackle the barriers to setting up a business.”

Programme Manager at the Premier League, Lynne-Marie Betteridge, added: “The visit has shown us first-hand the great work the foundation does within the community and how Premier League Enterprise forms an important part of that.

“The programme teaches young people about the options that are available to them, raises their aspirations and shows that there are a lot of opportunities out there which can broaden their horizons.”

Foundation of Light Education Curriculum Lead, Chris Hooker, said: “We were very fortunate to have Lady Mone here to give the kids a real-life entrepreneur whose achievements they can aspire to.

“Premier League Enterprise is all about giving the youngsters skills and accreditation so they can be an entrepreneur in the future.”

The Government wants to see more people from disadvantaged communities have the opportunity to turn their dream of being their own boss into reality and the review will identify the obstacles that people in the most disadvantaged areas face.