Scots entrepreneur Baroness Michelle Mone is pushing the button on an app providing free mentoring to help users achieve their professional and personal goals.
Mone, best known as the founder of lingerie brand Ultimo, said the Connect 2 Michelle Mone business and lifestyle app will offer “advice, guidance and inspiration” for those looking to take their lives “to the next level”.
She was inspired to launch the venture after her experiences in mentoring and public speaking led to frequent requests from the public for help and business advice.
The app was set to go live today and will be available to download in the app store.
Speaking to The Scotsman, the Glasgow-born entrepreneur said the venture was her way of sharing her experience and giving something back to the business community.
She said: “If someone were to book me for a half-day mentoring session that can be quite a large sum, so that’s why I thought it would be nice for people who don’t have the access or the funding to book someone like myself to get that advice for free.
“You get my years of experience, my guidance and exclusive content – all pooled into one app which really is such a unique offering.
“I wish there had been something like this when I started. It’s all for free and let’s hope that it does help people. It’s just my way of giving back and helping, I suppose.”
Mone has invested “several hundreds of thousands of pounds” of her own money into the app, but is looking to set up partnerships with other businesses in the future.
She said: “There’s been a massive investment from my side so hopefully the sponsorship can come in at a later stage and take over as it gets bigger.”
This could also lead to exclusive offers or discounts for users of the app, which is not just targeted at female professionals, said Mone, but at “whoever needs that help and motivation”. It is supported by a team of seven staff based in London.
Mone’s long-term goal is to broaden the app’s offering by featuring other voices from the world of business and to eventually launch her own event in key cities in the UK.
She said: “I want to open it up so that I can invite people in to speak about tips for others, so it’s not just me but other people coming into the app, inspirational people, giving their views as well.
“Hopefully, in the future we’ll bring all the fans and all the people behind the app together in a venue and have my own event.”
In 2015 Mone was awarded the role of start-up tsar to the UK government, tasked with helping to develop start-ups in areas with high unemployment.
Mone’s other tech ventures include Equi Global, a technology-focused venture capital fund launched with partner Doug Barrowman, which recently welcomed Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on board.