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Liz Jackson MBE
Liz Jackson MBE is a truly inspirational figure and her story is extraordinary; as many would have seen when she was featured in Channel 4's Secret Millionaire programme.
With no advanced educational background, she launched her telemarketing company in 1998 at the age of 25. Support came from The Prince's Trust in the form of a 1,000 grant and a loan of 4,000.
Today, Great Guns Marketing turns over more than 2.5 million, growing at a rate of over 30 per cent per annum and has eight regional branches in Basingstoke, Glasgow, Darlington, Derby, Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Birmingham in the UK as well as Waterford in Ireland.
For Liz especially, this is an amazing achievement as she is totally blind. The year Liz started her business she lost her sight completely as a result of the eye disorder Retinitis Pigmentosa. However, this didn't stop her from pursuing her dreams. In September 2003, Liz won the Women Mean Business Award, sponsored by T Mobile and The Sunday Express, it is Britain's biggest award dedicated to women who have achieved outstanding success running their own businesses.
In 2004 Great Guns Marketing won the South East regional Customer Focus Award in the National Business Awards. Referred to by Chancellor Gordon Brown as the business Oscars, the Customer Focus Award goes to the company that best demonstrates that the client is at the heart of everything they do.
Liz Jackson is a regular motivational speaker at conferences and dinners across the UK inspiring others to achieve their dreams by telling her remarkable story.
In 2007, Liz was commended in the New Years Honours and awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to business. Liz was acknowledged not only for her achievements in business but also for setting an incredible example to others and being a real inspiration.
Liz's remarkable story is told in her book 'Start Up!' that is listed as one of the top 50 business books currently available. Published by Pearson Prentice Hall, 'Start Up!' can be purchased in print or audio version.
"I have known Liz Jackson for a number of years and find her to be a truly inspirational speaker. Liz' s personal story and how she has approached managing and leading her own organisation, to achieve the goals and ambitions she has set for herself and her team, always makes me reflect on what the true ingredients are for motivational leadership. We have worked together on a number of projects and Liz always brings an amazing amount of energy to all of her activities. She combines her business acumen and wicked sense of humour to captivate and motivate her audiences; I would always thoroughly recommend Liz as a speaker."
Jo Causon CEO Institute of Customer Service
"The first time I heard Liz speak I left the event feeling very inspired about how an individual can achieve whatever they put they mind to - with the right attitude! Her story-telling approach is funny, interesting, aspiring as well as inspiring. I would highly recommend either hiring Liz as a speaker or making sure you go and hear her speak!"
Narinder Uppal Director, Chartered Management Institute
"As Sales Director, UK and Ireland, for TomTom Business Solutions, I manage a team of regional Managers who in turn manage a network of sales partners in each of their regions. As such I have a programme of annual coaching and sales development events designed to raise skill sets in all relevant areas aimed at making the TomTom ecosystem the best and most highly skilled operators in our industry. As part of that programme, I run two National conferences per year where our internal and external teams come together for two days of training, education and motivation. One of the main aims is to drive an entrepreneurial spirit amongst our Managers and partners, and having worked with Liz, due to our relationship with her company 'Great Guns', and knowing that Liz also was involved in public speaking, I invited her to speak at our first event. Liz delivered a truly inspirational and motivational speech, which received a standing ovation, something I have never seen at any of these events! There were people in the audience who were moved to tears by Liz's attitude, passion, drive, success and razor sharp wit. Most inspirational is Liz's refusal to conform or be held back by any stereotype of accepted 'business practices', being a woman in business or being blind. Had Liz listened to advice given to her at the time of losing her sight she would now be either tuning your piano or giving you a massage! And that would be a tragedy and a great loss to the business community and wider world! Liz has since spoken, and taken an active role in conferences and events since the first one and always delivered huge value to these events and been a highlight, with attendees always commenting on the quality of her involvement and the desire for more! I would not hesitate in recommending Liz as a speaker, she will greatly enrich any event, Liz will challenge your thinking and preconceptions, she will have you laughing and crying all at the same time, whilst leaving you feeling that everything is possible should you want it badly enough, surely a message for our times!"
Giles Margerison Sales Director UKI TomTom Business Solutions
"When the heart, experience and reality meet in one place there is a chance to learn something. Occasionally, when these elements are packaged into the spoken word, there is also a chance to reflect and to be inspired from within. Listening to Liz Jackson is an uplifting treat and makes you feel, as she says, 'when you think you can, you can'. This lady has a perspective and a balance to life that is to be admired and I hope emulated in some way, by those who hear her."
Des Benjamin CEO Simply Health
"I first heard Liz Jackson speak a few years ago and was enthralled by Liz's story about how she built her own business from nothing to the huge success it is today. Since that day, I always thought it would be really cool if Liz was able to speak at a Wow event, and in June 2012 we were very privileged to have Liz speak to an audience of over 100 business owners at Wow's summer BBQ. The feedback we had from attendees was superb. The word "inspiring" is often used to describe the speakers at our events, but I have never heard it used so often as when Liz spoke. The audience was captivated by Liz's story and left with some really practical ideas that they could implement in their businesses right away. I know from speaking to many attendees since the event that they've changed the way they think about their business as a result of hearing Liz speak. High praise indeed. I cannot recommend Liz Jackson highly enough. If you're looking for a speaker to captivate, enthuse and inspire your audience, then you're in for a real treat."
Peter Czapp CEO The Wow Company
'I cannot begin to tell you how proud and pleased I am that Elizabeth Jackson has won this year's Women Mean Business Awards. Elizabeth is an inspiration to young business people everywhere and I do send her my warmest congratulations.'
HRH The Prince of Wales
'Liz you were brilliant the audience were mesmerised by you. The feedback we have had has been incredible, youre a star.'
Max Benson, Everywoman Conference
'Liz, you were absolutely magnificent on Friday. Everyone thought tou were amazing.'
'Liz has shown remarkable determination, vision and passion in developing her business. Her inspirational story should serve to motivate many people setting up in business, as she really demonstrates what can be achieved with a can-do attitude. These characteristics are the hallmark of great business leaders, as we identified in our Bright Business Effect report earlier this year.'
Richard Hanscott, Vice-President of Business Solutions at Orange
'It does appear to be the perfect handbook for anyone wishing to start their own business, and they certainly could not have a better role model to learn from. I only hope that it might encourage other young people with innovative ideas.'
HRH The Prince of Wales
Commenting on Start Up! by Liz Jackson
'Witty, brilliant, successful, full of fun and blind.'
Margaret Kimberley, Lions Club International
(Commentary on Liz Jackson as keynote speaker at The Lions Club annual conference - audience of 400)
'I very much enjoyed this morning's Big Breakfast. Liz is a very inspirational person and speaks with such directness and candour. It has certainly given me some food for thought.'
A delegate at an Institute of Directors big Breakfast
Find out how to book Liz Jackson MBE as the business speaker for your next event by calling Speak Out on 0131 440 9226 or clicking here.
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