Baroness Karren Brady CBE

Vice Chair, West Ham United & The Apprentice Aide
Baroness Karren Brady CBE

Who Am I

Karren ran the business side of Birmingham City FC for 16 years through promotion and relegation, and her own brain surgery. She now plays an active role at West Ham, keeps watch on Apprentice candidates and acts as Coalition Ambassador for Small Business. Karren’s mantra can be summed up in five tips: work hard (be persistent); network (spread your message); move on (failure is history); don’t get side-tracked: and always do your sums.


Biography


Alan Sugar’s aide on The Apprentice is also known as the ‘first lady of football.' She became MD of Birmingham City at the age of 23, and is now Vice Chairman of West Ham and one of the UK’s best known business personalities.


Karren Brady is tough, ambitious, focused and has a wicked sense of humour… just don’t ask her which team she supports.


Karren started her career in sales at LBC Radio. Having successfully sold advertising to David Sullivan, the owner of Sport Newspapers, she accepted a job offer from him and soon became a director of his company. When Birmingham City fell into receivership and came up for sale, she famously persuaded Sullivan to buy it and appoint her as Managing Director.


In her first year at the helm, the club recorded a trading profit. By the time it was launched on the stock market, it was valued at £25m. The average gate then increased to a sell-out of over thirty thousand, and the business was valued at £60m.


In presentations Karren talks about running the business side of a major football club - through promotion, relegation, media controversy and even brain surgery. Known for her resilience, she describes how to combat fear of failure and energise the team, and why hunger is always your most valuable asset.


Karren has added The Mothercare Foundation, Channel 4 and Sport England to her portfolio of directorships. She has also written two novels and two business books and is a regular columnist in The Sun, The Guardian and Birmingham Evening Mail. 

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About Speaking Minds

When Speaking Minds was founded in 2007 in New Zealand, little did we envisage that this would grow into an international brand with offices in India and London in less than a decade. We set up the business to share what we had learnt, from the privileges we have had in our jobs – of access to knowledge. Bringing India to the rest of the world was our driving force.


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Our History

The dna of our business is genuinely about sharing knowledge with the world, from thought leaders and experts who are notable achievers in their field. Raga D'silva quit her highly successful corporate career in New Zealand in 2007, to set up a dream business of connecting knowledge, insights, motivation from exceptional talent with the corporate world, globally.


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