I was in shock when I just heard the news over the radio that Anita Roddick died earlier tonight of a brain haemorrhage.
Put simply, she was the most iconic female entrepreneur Britain has ever seen. She inspired a whole generation of women - back in the days when I was a young City career girl in the 1980's - and despite all the progress women in business have made since, no female entrepreneur has even come close to achieving the same status.
She managed to be successful without compromising her femininity, and she was one of the first entrepreneurs to base her business on her passion for her product rather than the ruthless pursuit of money. Her passion for ethical, environmentally friendly trading was decades ahead of its time - in an era where the 'greed is good' alpha male mantra pervaded business at all levels.
She had great positive energy and determination, and in her later years used her fame and fortune for hugely positive ends to fight for human rights causes.
She was a brilliant role model, not just for women but for new age entrepreneurs everywhere, and she will be sadly missed.