Michelle Mone
Mone, pictured in Ultimo's bra fitting clinic in 2009, was asked to advise the government on start-ups and entrepreneurs Getty

Lingerie brand Ultimo announced on Tuesday (18 August) that its founder Michelle Mone has resigned from the boards of Ultimo Brands and MJM. Mone, who founded MJM in 1996 with her then husband, is leaving the bra firm to join Chancellor George Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron in plans to create a so-called "Northern Powerhouse" in the UK.

The Scot was announced as an adviser to new start-up companies, helping entrepreneurs and advising Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

"Michelle, who recently relocated to London, has new business interests and has recently taken on new responsibilities with the UK government," the company said in a press release. "As such, Michelle will spend most of her time on these new projects and commitments, leaving limited time for her engagements with Ultimo."

The entrepreneur grew up in Glasgow's East End and will be handed the important task of helping UK citizens create new jobs and found companies. She will still hold a 20% stake in the Ultimo brand, along with her 100% ownership of fake tan product line Utan.

Duncan Smith commented on Mone's appointment: "There's no one I can think of that's better qualified to help young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds to turn a good idea into a flourishing business."

Mone left school aged 15 and set up a successful company from scratch. She now has an estimated net worth of £20m (€28m, $31m).

"We used to be known as a nation of shopkeepers," Duncan Smith said. "I want Michelle to report back to me on how we can encourage people of all backgrounds to take up this entrepreneurial spirit."