Entrepreneur, Liz Jackson, did not let starting a new business while losing her sight faze her – instead she turned it into a multi-million pound success.
Diagnosed with a degenerative eye disorder at the age of two, Liz started as an office junior for BCMS Corporate after leaving school. There, she worked her way up to the position of sales manager and was given the opportunity to independently set up call centres in North Hampshire and Chicago.
In 1998, Liz branched out by herself and with a grant from the Prince's Trust; she started her telemarketing business, Great Guns Marketing, from her living room. Today she employs a staff of nearly 100 at nine branches across the UK and Ireland, boasting an impressive portfolio of clients including British Telecom, Wella and Lloyds TSB.
"I have always enjoyed the commercial business world and found the challenges that exist in running and growing a business fun. Our success has been driven by the great team of people we have here.
"The proudest achievement for me at Great Guns is that we became the first telemarketing company to be recognised by The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) with the coveted ServiceMark accreditation. We pride ourselves on putting the customer at the centre of what we do."
Over her career, Liz has received numerous accolades including the 2003 T-Mobile "Women Mean Business Award," which recognised the growing importance of independent businesswomen to both the economy and the community. In 2007, Liz was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen, who awarded her an MBE in the New Year's Honours list for her services to business.
Liz is also a keen supporter of charities which has seen her take part in Channel 4's The Secret Millionaire, spending eight days living undercover in South London where she was introduced to and inspired by people who needed help. She has also become a muse in the Modern Muse project, mentoring young girls in schools around the UK to raise their aspirations.
The award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Liz in recognition of her achievements as a businesswoman, employer and author – against all odds.