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Top 5 British Female Entrepreneurs

1. J.K Rowling (£600M)

Jo Rowling's success is the archetypal rags to riches story. While living on state welfare, she began writing what was to become one of the world's most profitable book franchises. Rowling was given a £1,500 advance on Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 1995, and was advised by her publishing company to get a day job as financial success for the book was slim.

2. Jacqueline Gold (£500M)

Gold worked a few low-paying jobs, including work experience at her father's newly acquired Ann Summers chain of stores. It was here that she hit upon the idea of the Ann Summers Party Plan - a home marketing scheme for selling sex toys and lingerie.

3. Martha Lane Fox (£300M)

Martha Lane Fox founded alongside Brent Hoberman at the peak of the dot com bubble. Lane Fox stood down from the company in 2003, just as the profits started to fall. was sold in early 2005.

4. Karren Brady (£100M)

Heralded as the first lady of British Football, Karen Brady started out in advertising but quickly caught the keen eye of publisher David Sullivan. Under his encouragement and financial backing, she bought and managed Birmingham F.C. at the age of 23.

5. Rita Sharma (£50M)

Sharma is the UK's richest Asian female entrepreneur and with her husband, Rahul Sharma, is within the top twenty richest Asian families in Britain. She got to the top with Worldwide Journeys, a bespoke London travel agency established in 1986.

Top 4 UK Entrepreneurs (Male)

1. Richard Branson

Business Ventures:

Ran Student Magazine
Sold records through Student Magazine
Start record shop in Oxford Street
Start record label
Sell record label for £500M
Start airline
Start rail franchise

2. James Dyson

Business Ventures:

Study at Royal College of Art
Creates Ballbarrow
Studies cyclonic seperation after frustration with Hoover
Launches the G-Force
Minimal sales due to highly lucrative European dustbag market
Does catalogue sales to Japanese market
Wins 1991 Design Fair prize in Japan
Gets patent and start up new company in Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Dyson Dual Cylone becomes fastest selling vacuum cleaner in UK

3. Nick Robertson

Business Ventures:

Works for Young & Rubicam for 8 years
Starts Entertainment Marketing - a product placement company
Rebrands as As Seen On Screen selling products seen on TV
Sticks to fashion
Rebrands to ASOS
Turnover for 2013: £350M

4. Peter Jones

Business Ventures:

Starts up PC manufacture company under Peter Jones
Starts up cocktail bar in Windsor based on Cocktail
PC company takes a nosedive
Get a job at Siemens Nixdorf
Starts Phones International Group
Revenues grow to £150M in 8 years
Sells Phones International Group
Buys Jessops

Top Ten Reasons To Start A Business

According to research conducted by, the following are the top ten reasons why entrepreneurs start-up their own business:

1. Control of your own destiny

Reduced sense of helpless and stress when colleagues are rewarded for bad performance and when you're rebuked for poor work based on bad communication form your boss.

2. You Find Your Own Work/Life Balance

No more early morning commutes without seeing the people who you love and who matter the most. More time to smell the roses.

3. Choose who You Can Work With

Not sure if you're respected or if the carving knife is making straight for your back? Don't do the politics, just get out.

4. Big Risks, Bigger Rewards

Secure bigger rewards than your monthly leftovers. Reward yourself for seeing and delivering on the opportunity.

5. Challenge Yourself

Going stale in that back-office? Get out and freshen your goals, recharge your batteries and get some fire in your belly.

6. Follow Your Passion

Corporate life is comforting and well-structured but would doing what you love unleash a new life perspective for you?

7. Be Faster

Often the bureaucracy of doing a simple thing in a large organisation is mind-numbing and frustrating at the same time. Could you do things quicker?

8. You Connect with Your Clients

A closer bond with customers allows you to start seeing them as people and not just as the people who pay your salary.

9. Give back to the community

Sometimes it easier to view things from the ivory tower of the corporate world but wouldn't it be better to give stuff back in a meaningful way to people who can see what you're trying to do and engage with the cause?

10. Pride In Building Something You Own

Developed by YOU. Built by YOU. Nutured by YOU. Enough said. 

Contact Details For civvybusiness

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BEWARE: 10 Reasons For UK Business Failure

1 in 3 UK business start-ups fail in the first 3 years. On the flipside 2 out of 3 new businesses survive and experience growth. As an ex-service officer from the UK's Armed Forces you'll want some pointers on just how to avoid making the mistakes that doom 'would-be-entrepreneurs'.

1. Poor Marketing

Build it and they will come. They WON'T unless you provide a reason.
Do the market research on your industry, your competition and your competition. Get a clipboard, some paper and start talking to your customers.

2. No Cash-flow Management

Many businesses struggle through poor or misguided cash-flow management.   Unsustainable business growth puts a great deal of pressure on finances and can lead to unexpected and uncompetitive  borrowing requirements.

3. Non-existent Business Plan

This is an important document that should outline the vision of the business success whilst being realistic about the challenges that the business will face. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

4. Lack of Finance

Insufficient budgeting means that businesses are unable to take the immediate opportunities that are available to them, or have to react to circumstance rather than engage in proactive planning.

5. Not using new technology and innovation

Effective use of advanced modern technologies in an appropriate way can make a big difference to business failure or success. Use of antique technology and production methods often leads firms at a cost disadvantage over rivals who are willing to learn and embrace new techniques.

6. Ambitious demand

This represents a significant failing of businesses who discover that whilst their product retains some consumer interest, the lack of consistency and low sales volumes from customers cannot sustain.

7. Poor Location

A good location is paramount to the success of a retail business. Even for service business, being in a hub   where there is pool of related industries can be very beneficial to the development of new business. Be wary of cheaper locations as you may lose out on footfall or staff may be unwilling to commute.

8. Poor Customer Support

After working so hard to get that first new customer, it is astonishing the number of businesses that then 'down tools' and never follow-up with the customer to ask for feedback, referrals or even asking for their permission to be added to their database.

9. Poor Delegation

Business owners who try to do every role in the business regardless of whether they are equipped to complete the task to a high standard experience some difficulty handing over tasks to others. Hire people to aid the business growth, don't try to do it all yourself.

10. Inflexible Approach

If something isn't working, failing businesses tend to overlook the cause for the failure and muster on. This approach is often seen when a business misses its sales targets or when marketing is not converting customers. A good business owner should respond to situations which are not leading to the stability or growth of the business.  

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