Jacqueline Gold, the chief executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, will be the guest speaker at the South Coast Business Awards 2014.

The annual awards, organised by the Daily Echo in association with law firm Trethowans, aims to raise standards, encourage competition and recognise business excellence across the south.

This year’s event, which is run in partnership with Business South and Destination Southamp-ton, will be held at the Grand Harbour Hotel on July 11 where a total of nine prestigious awards will be handed out to the region’s top firms.

Jacqueline Gold, by her own admission, had no formal training but her strength and determination has made her an inspiration to thousands of people de-termined to emulate her business ach-ievements.

She is res-ponsible for making the Ann Summers family business one of the most profitable private companies in the UK with a gross annual sales turnover of more than £150m. This achievement has earned her a place in Britain’s 100 most influential women list.

Her business journey began at the age of 21 while working at her father’s firm. She saw the potential for taking lingerie and sex toys to women in their homes and created the Ann Summers’ Party.

Jacqueline worked her way through the ranks before being made chief executive of the firm in 1987. She bought Knickerbox in February 2000 and it is now one of the high streets most successful brands.

Her achievements include winning the titles the most powerful woman in retail; the most inspirational businesswoman in the UK and being one of Britain’s business icons.

l For tickets to the big night on Friday, July 11 visit dailyecho.co.uk/scba.