19 women unveiled on shortlists for awards that celebrate female entrepreneurship in the UK
A list of 19 female entrepreneurs has been announced as the final shortlist for the Natwest Everywoman Awards 2015.
The awards are now in their 13th year and celebrate female business owners from a wide range of sectors and backgrounds. Entrepreneurs ranging from owners of new start-ups to fast-growth and more established ventures are all represented across the categories.
Recent research by Natwest suggested women are less likely than men to see the current climate as the most favourable for starting a business and the organisers of the awards aim to redress that balance of perception.
Among the finalists are the young woman who began working aged just 16 to support her family and is now turning over millions, the future music mogul who is set to turn the streaming industry on its head and the savvy beauty expert who spotted an opportunity to purchase a failing business and completely reinvent it.
2015 also sees the inclusion of a new category, the Aphrodite Award, recognising the numerous mums who have juggled the challenges of bringing up young children while launching their business dreams.
Everywoman co-founder Maxine Benson MBE said that they started the awards 13-years-ago because at the time “there were very few role models who women could identify with”.
“Today it is commonplace to read of women starting a business, but the extent and scale of their success is often overlooked,” she continued. “That’s why this year we amended our award criteria, and the categories now reflect the age of the business, not the individual.”
Natwest head of enterprise Julie Baker added that she and the company are “very proud to recognise these women, who are not just successful in their own businesses, but are also role models”.
“The importance of women in business cannot be underestimated, so we hope these role models will inspire other women to take their first steps in business,” she continued.
The winners of the six categories will be announced on Wednesday 2nd December at The Dorchester Hotel and a further three categories will be unveiled on the day.
Full list of finalists:
The Artemis Award – sponsored by Crystal Clear International – for the most inspirational woman running a business which has been trading for between 18 months and three years:
· Eleanor Heatley, from London – Luminis
· Suzanne Brock, from Guilford, Surrey – Nutriment Ltd
· Victoria Corcoran, from Liverpool – The Pets Country Manor
The Demeter Award – sponsored by Worldpay – for the most inspirational woman running a business which has been trading for between three and six years:
· Noreen Finnamore, from Tormarton, Gloucestershire – Buckley & Beale Ltd
· Poppy Mardall, from London – Poppy’s Funerals
· Tamara Gillan, from London – Cherry London
The Athena Award – for the most inspirational woman running a business which has been trading for between seven and eleven years:
· Ayesha Vardag, from London – VARDAGS
· Clare Johnston, from London – The Up Group
· Sarah Asfour, from Eastbourne – Funkyhampers.com
The Hera Award – for the most inspirational woman running a business which has been trading for 12 years or more:
· Debbie Edgar, from Northampton – Dragon Infrastructure Solutions Ltd
· Gillian Pearson, from Cheltenham – Newberry International Produce
· Joanna Chin, from Windsor – Langland
· Julia Minchin, from Bridgwater, Somerset – Hippychick Ltd
The Iris Award – sponsored by IBM – for the most inspirational and successful female entrepreneur who runs a business that uses technology in an innovative and disruptive way.
· Alice Taylor, from London – MakieLab
· Jen Hyatt, from London – Big White Wall
· Juliana Meyer, from Norwich – SupaPass
The Aphrodite/ Mumpreneur Award – sponsored by the Daily Mail – this award will go to a woman who founded her business whilst raising a child/children aged 12 or under.
· Lynda Harding, from Portsmouth – Sweet Dreamers Ltd
· Nova smith, from Leeds – it Tablet PC
· Sarah Pittendrigh, from Hexham, Northumberland – Simply Bows and Chair Covers