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Inspirational People
Dame Stephanie Shirley

Dame Stephanie Shirley is a 'highly successful entrepreneur (person who organises businesses) turned passionate philanthropist (a person who puts effort into and donates money on a large scale for the well-being of others.)

She started out in 1962 and because at that time, people didn't take women seriously, she gave herself a new name of Steve and that name has stuck.

She started the technology company Xansa,and led it to great things. Since she retired as the honorary Life President in 1993, she based her life on her strong belief in business people giving something back to the society. Her main interest is autism ( a condition where you don't quite 'connect' with the world) because her son had it; he died in 1998.

She has created a charity called the Shirley Foundation and it is now one of the top 50 grant-giving foundations in the UK, giving $125 million dollar donations over the past several years.

By Imogen Wadlow