Key Points:

What do Margaret Thatcher and Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham have in common?

Both appear in a newly issued poll of the most inspiring female celebrity entrepreneurs alongside supermodel Elle Macpherson and British TV personality and businesswoman Katie Price, a.k.a. Jordan.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling topped the poll followed by the late Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The research by everywoman, an online network for businesswomen, and British bank NatWest was based on interviews with 1,887 women whose businesses had an average turnover of 1.3 million pounds ($2.6 million) about role models for women who want to run their own companies.

The poll found 86 per cent of participants agreed that celebrity entrepreneurs played a positive role in encouraging women to set up businesses.

Those aged under 25 were three times more likely to be influenced by celebrity entrepreneurs over traditional role models, which the researchers said showed their influence is shaping the next generation of business owners.

"The likes of Victoria Beckham and Katie Price are also inspiring younger generations of would be entrepreneurs," Karen Gill, co-founder of everywoman, said in a statement.

"Their glamour and pin-up status belie a savvy business sense that has seen both of them achieve phenomenal success thanks to hard graft and their sheer determination to succeed."

The top 20 most inspiring female celebrity entrepreneurs:

1. J.K. Rowling - author

2. Anita Roddick - founder of The Body Shop

3. Margaret Thatcher - former British Prime Minister

4. Jacqueline Gold - CEO Ann Summers

5. Martha Lane Fox - co-founder of lastminute.com

6. Karren Brady - managing director of Birmingham City Football Club (youngest MD of UK plc)

7. Delia Smith - cook, author, broadcaster

8. Michelle Mone - founder of Ultimo lingerie

9. Nicola Horlick - founder of Bramdean Asset Management

10. Dame Stella Rimington - first female director of MI5

11. Katie Price (aka Jordan) - model, author, entrepreneur

12. Deborah Meaden - Dragon's Den panelist and investor

13. Chrissie Rucker - founder of The White Company

14. Stella McCartney - fashion designer

15. Tamara Mellon - founder of Jimmy Choo shoes

16. Clara Furse - first female CEO, London Stock Exchange

17. Victoria Beckham - singer, author, designer

18. Elle Macpherson - model and business woman

19. Kelly Hoppen - interior designer

20. Rebekah Wade - editor of The Sun newspaper

- REUTERS