Lara Morgan

Founder, Fun-ctionality Group

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Lara Morgan is a British entrepreneur with a track record of delivering exceptional accelerated growth.

Her investment strategy is pinned to improving life’s journey and she is currently CEO/MD of a portfolio of seven consumer services businesses which she works with on a daily basis. She is an inspirational leader with a legacy of building world-class teams and aligning organizations behind a clear strategy.

She practices the art of selling and creating win-win customer partnerships for her brands 24/7. Her specific expertise is in strategy, customer insight and brand development, multi-channel and mult-site management and organic or M&A/partnership-driven expansion.

Lara founded her first business, Pacific Direct, in 1991 at the age of just 23. Having arrived in the UK from Hong Kong with little or no hotel experience, Lara quickly grew Pacific Direct into a specialist global supplier of luxury high end brands for five-star hotels.

17 years later, she sold Pacific Direct for £20m. At Pacific Direct she was involved in multiple disciplines from luxury brand licensing, marketing, retail operations to commercial and private label development. She has also managed and owned factories in Czech and China.

Working with extremely large organisations as well as small start-ups, she acquired valuable sector experience in specialty retail, brand merchandising, consumer health, education, well- being travel, leisure and hospitality.

Lara invests in British brands including Scentered.me, the 100% natural, portable mood therapy brand; Dryrobe, the ultimate change robe; Gate8, lightweight time-saving functional business luggage; KitBrix, modular sports kit bags, Yogi Bare, eco yoga mats and accessories; énergie fitness clubs. ActivBod and Global Amenities Direct are two other companies that Lara has built in line with her portfolio strategy.

Lara is a proud mother of three teenage girls and a committed volunteer and philanthropist. She is actively engaged with various global non-profits as a trustee/board member or advisor. She speaks regularly at industry events.

She has also commented live on current affairs and business issues with Sky and BBC News and has also appeared on BBC Two's The Apprentice: You’re Fired.

Lara has been a finalist in Ernst Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award three times and a finalist in the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award. In 2009 Lara received the much-coveted Cranfield University Entrepreneur Alumna Award.

She is a published author of the Amazon best-selling business book More Balls Than Most and is co-founder of Start Up Britain.

Taking all this in her stride, she also manages to train for charity bike rides and triathlon and came 10th in the 2011 World Triathlon Championships in Beijing.

The Startups Team
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