Anita Roddick was the founder of the wildly successful line of natural beauty products, The Body Shop. She was also dyslexic.

Like many entrepreneurs, Roddick struggled with her reading and spelling, but had great vision and gumption for starting new things. Newly married, in 1970, she and her husband opened a restaurant and hotel. Roddick had no prior business experience, but she caught the entrepreneurial bug and in 1976 added a cosmetics store to her resume: The Body Shop.

Within 6 months, she was able to open a second site. 15 years later, there were 700 branches worldwide. 15 years after that? 2000, plus a growing online presence.

Roddick was passionate about running an ethical business, and not just from a products point of view. She once said, “the business of business should not just be about money, it should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed.”

For children struggling with reading difficulties like she did, she had one simple message:

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito!”

Sarah Forrest is Reading Specialist for the Easyread System, a groundbreaking online program for children with reading difficulties. For a free trial, visit