Karren Brady named Government’s new Small Business Ambassador

Ms Brady, who introduced herself to the Manchester audience as a “businesswoman, business owner, company director and mother of two”, said she understood being in business could be lonely and knew of of the struggles of small businesses because she had “been there” herself.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester she revealed how she had overcome brazen sexism when she became a director of Birmingham Football Club aged 23. She said that when she had finished her “very serious presentation” to the club she asked for questions.

“A little hand went up. ‘Yes sir,’ I asked. He said: ‘What are your vital statistics?'”

But Brady said she had had the “last laugh” by restoring the club to financial health. “We produced a trading profit in my first year in charge for the first time in the club’s modern history.”

The high-profile appointment was announced at the Conservative conference in Manchester as ministers moved to back up their claim to be the only party of business and enterprise and may be the start of a political career from Brady, who has previously said that she is interested in entering politics in the future.

Brady said: “Many of you are entrepreneurs and are sitting here today. I want to say to you that I know the sacrifice you make – the 60-hour weeks, juggling family life and staying awake late at night worrying about how you are going to pay the next wage bill, where you will get your next loan to grow your business, when are you going to take on your next employee.

“I know when you start out that you are the financial director, the sales director, the receptionist and the tea maker. It can be lonely.

“But it is this government that understands that without small businesses, Britain would not be what it is today.”

She introduced George Osborne as the “only man I would be an apprentice for… The right man with the right plan”.