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Ten women had their dreams of being mentored by the best women in business become a reality in a ceremony at the BT Tower on Friday 7th November. Eager entrepreneurs from across London entered their business ideas to the competition, run by FreshIdeas Events. 

Winner Paula Wynne, from Remote Employment, an online website dedicated to remote working and flexible home working options, says: “This competition is excellent for businesswoman like myself to get access to the skill, experience and wealth of knowledge that the mentors will provide. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Karen, who has so much enthusiasm and energy for the concept of remote working.”

“Essentially, Remote Employment wants to make a difference to the employment culture in the UK by helping employers recruit talented job seekers in a cost effective way. Equally we want to help employees improve their quality of life while maintaining a career path at the same time. With Karen’s help and guidance, we look forward to taking Remote Employment to the next level of growth.”

The panel of ‘Make A Difference’ MAD women will be guiding the aspiring businesswomen to success over the next six months and you can track their progress by visiting FreshIdeas Events, www.freshideasevents.com

Innovative ideas ranging from an ethical image consultancy encouraging clients to dress more eco-friendly, an online information business for those passionate about socialising and dining out in London, and a new sustainable, community-run hotel were among the winning ideas.

Another one of the winners is 31-year-old Katharine Roseveare, who owns her own marketing agency, Intelligent Marketing.  Katharine has made her name giving marketing advice to companies including HSBC and Woolworths. Katharine says: “I’ve never had a mentor before so this is excellent as it will give both me and my company a real boost.  It’s often very hard to get honest and impartial advice on your company but having this external point of view will be very refreshing. I’m really looking forward to taking our company to the next stage.  When the six months is up, I’m hoping to have developed personally as I’m in charge of 30 to 35 people at my company and I want to be able to provide them with strong leadership skills.”

More details of the winners:

  • Paula Wynne, from Remote Employment who has started an online business dedicated to home based, flexible and remote working. She has been matched to inspiration entrepreneur and founder of Simply Switch, Karen Darby, who sold her company to the Daily Mail in 2006 for £22m.
  • Michelle Peers, who runs an online business called Socialite London for people who are passionate about socialising and dining out in London has been matched to Founder of Everyclick.com, Polly Gowers, who was voted WEBE Ethical Entrepreneur of the Year 2007.
  • Georgina Stevens, a Virgin employee working on sustainability issues planning to put a business pitch to Richard Branson for a sustainable, community run hotel – matched to Jo Haigh, Head of Corporate Finance, MGR.
  • Zoe Robinson, a professional actress who plans to set up ‘Think Style’, an image consultancy with an ethical slant which will encourage clients to dress more eco-friendly.  She has been matched to Director of EaKo, Babaloo and Bio-Supplies, Kresse Wesling.
  • Ila Panik, who plans to create a new alternative, trendy and positive development program for young women called U4U.  She has been matched to founder of Club Asia Radio 963+972AM, Sumerah Ahmad.
  • Irene Okoro, who currently works in PR and aims to launch her online business idea, blackbrides.co.uk in January 2009. She has been matched to Saima Butt, Managing Director of Enterprise Business Technologies.
  • Gina Varela, who has started her own events massage company, Divine London. She has been matched to Krista Madden, editor of www.Beautyandthedirt.co.uk.
  • Amy Kilbane, who is currently a European Marketing Manager and wants to develop to become a leader in her organization.  She has been matched to Managing Partner of Fitch, Lucy Unger.
  • Emily Shenton, who has recently joined her partner at Arrival Education which develops innovative concepts and programs to find an alternative to the current state education model.  She has been matched to the CEO of FreshMinds Group, Caroline Plumb.
  • Katharine Roseveare, manager of Intelligent Marketing which is now one of the UK’s most successful marketing agencies.  She currently has 30 employees and wants to take her business to the next level.  She has been matched to Karen Hanton, the Founder and Chief Executive of toptable.co.uk.

Jackie Brennan, Director of FreshIdeas Events, the independent company that helps women to succeed in business says: “The ceremony was a huge success and it was great to be able to introduce the winners to their mentors for the first time. After the winners were announced by the BBC’s Satnam Rana, the work began with a mentoring session from Suzanne Doyle of Doyle Morris Coaching.

“I believe that mentoring is a terrific way of giving entrepreneurs vital advice to help them on their way or take their businesses to the next level.  It’s been terrific for us to be able to help these women and develop their businesses to become a success like their mentors.”

Fran Currie from Business Link in London says: “We are proud to be supporting the competition as it gives women from the capital the opportunity to start and grow their own businesses with the confidence of having an experienced mentor advising them on their way to success.”

For more information on the winners and their mentors and to track their progress visit www.freshideasevents.com  

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