Meet Britain’s first self-made female billionaire

Dame Mary Perkins, who has just been crowned Britain’s first self-made female billionaire, has just confirmed that she will speak at the 2011 Entrepreneurs’ Summit on May 25 in London.

Dame Mary Perkins will give lessons on how she created a £1bn empire based around partnerships and collaboration.

Dame Mary Perkins founded Specsavers, the opticians, with her husband Douglas Perkins in 1984. Since then, the pair have grown the chain to more than 1,500 stores across the globe.

The past year has been good to Dame Mary and her husband, seeing their fortune rise by 42 per cent, to £1.2bn, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.

The Specsavers story is fantastic: the chain is entirely owned by the Perkins family and is debt free. Specsavers operates a franchise model, where the stores are split in a 50/50 joint venture basis between Specsavers and the individual optician.

Last year, Specsavers’ UK operation showed profits of £21.7m on £390m sales; and Specsavers’ total turnover (including Britain) is expected to hit £1.6bn for the year just ended, according to the Rich List.

Meet Dame Mary Perkins

Dame Mary Perkins has a great story to tell – and we’ve got an opportunity for you to meet her.

Dame Mary Perkins will give a keynote speech at the Entrepreneurs’ Summit on May 25 in London.

The Entrepreneurs’ Summit is Real Business‘s yearly flagship event – this year’s theme is “Give your Business an Unfair Advantage”.

We’ve lined up a stellar group of speakers throughout the day. In addition to Dame Mary Perkins, other confirmed speakers include:

  • Vince Cable, Business Secretary
  • Charles Dunstone, Carphone Warehouse
  • John Cridland, CBI
  • Errol Damelin, Wonga
  • Dan Cobley, VP marketing at Google
  • Martin Raymond, The Future Laboratory
  • Richard Harpin, Homeserve
  • Simon Calver, LoveFilm
  • Luke Johnson, Risk Capital Partners
  • Julie Meyer, Ariadne Capital
  • Lara Morgan, Company Shortcuts
  • Andy Phillipps, Active Hotels & Reevoo
  • and many more!

The Entrepreneurs’ Summit is the must-attend year event for business owners. Join us on May 25 to give your business an unfair advantage.

For more information and to book your place, visit the Entrepreneurs’ Summit website.

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