Twenty-one extraordinary women have been revealed as this year’s finalists in the 15th annual NatWest everywoman Awards, the UK’s most prestigious initiative recognising the achievements of female entrepreneurs.
The announcement comes as research by NatWest Business shows female entrepreneurs have contributed 77,000 new jobs and over £3.5 billion to the UK economy, via 100,000 new businesses over a 12 month period.*
Selected by a judging panel of 18 of the country’s most successful businesswomen including Chrissie Rucker MBE, Cath Kidston MBE, Rosaleen Blair CBE and Poonam Gupta OBE, this year’s finalists were chosen for the drive, ambition and tenacity they demonstrate in the face of adversity.
The finalists represent the breadth of female talent from diverse backgrounds, experiences and age groups, running successful enterprises in the UK today. From a family run commercial plumbing company, a footwear brand generating over 500 jobs for local workers in Africa, an independent multimedia production company, to the first tailor on Savile Row creating clothing exclusively for women.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony held on 6 December 2017 at The Dorchester, London, attended by Government, media and hundreds of leading business figures. In recognition of the awards’ anniversary year, 15 ambassadors will share their inspirational stories of the impact that the awards have had on their business success. These include Julie Deane OBE, founder, The Cambridge Satchel Company, Pip Murray, founder, Pip & Nut, and Ayesha Vardag, President, Vardags.
The NatWest everywoman Awards programme creates a platform for female entrepreneurs to celebrate their achievements and share the success stories that truly inspire the next generation of female talent. All chosen finalists are championing creative thinking and demonstrating just how viable entrepreneurship is as a career option across infinite industry sectors.
The 2017 NatWest everywoman Awards finalists are:
The Artemis Award – sponsored by Crystal Clear International – Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading for 18 months to 3 years
- Hannah Duraid, The Great Escape Game, from Leeds
- Sue Nelson, Breakthrough Funding Ltd, from Ashford, Kent
- Sandra Sassow, SEaB Energy Ltd, from Southampton
The Demeter Award – sponsored by Nutriment Limited – Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading from 3 to 5 years
- Amy Cunningham, The Strings Club Ltd, from Birmingham
- Sophie Eden, Gordon & Eden, from London
- Julie Wilson and Amy Livingstone, Cheeky Chompers, from Edinburgh
The Athena Award – sponsored by Dell – Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading from 6 to 9 years
- Georgina Hurcombe, LoveLove Films, from Bournemouth
- Lucy McCarraher, Rethink Press, from Norwich
- Anne Timpany, On Tap Plumbers, from London
The Hera Award – sponsored by EDF Energy – Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading for 10 years or more
- Penny Overy, Cambridge Care Company, from Newmarket
- Victoria Robertshaw, Keelham Farm Shop, from Bradford
- Jo Stroud, Mantra Jewellery, from Leamington Spa
The Gaia Award – sponsored by Montezuma’s Chocolates – Awarded to the most inspirational and successful female founder of a social enterprise who has combined strong community benefit with a sustainable business model
- Jenny Holloway, Fashion Enter, from London
The Aphrodite Award – Awarded to a woman who founded her business whilst raising a child/children aged 12 or under
- Kate Ball, Mini First Aid, from Leeds
- Tajinder Banwait, Urban Apothecary Limited, from Leicestershire
- Annabel Karmel, Annabel Karmel Group Holdings Ltd, from London
The Brand of the Future Award – sponsored by The White Company – Awarded to a woman whose business is seen to demonstrate huge potential for growth
- Whitney Bromberg Hawkings, FLOWERBX, from London
- Virginie Charlès-Dear, toucanBox, from London
- Phoebe Gormley, Gormley & Gamble, from London
Speaking about the finalists, Maxine Benson MBE, Co-founder at everywoman comments, “When we created these awards 15 years ago to champion women in enterprise, little did we know the stories we would uncover and the phenomenal women we would meet. Over the years we have been delighted to learn of the impact these awards have had on previous winners. We believe women from all backgrounds should have a platform to share their success stories and highlight what can be achieved even when faced with life’s biggest challenges. This year’s finalists are a true testament to the breadth of female talent in this country and we wish them all continued success.”
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest, said: “We are very proud to recognise these women, who are not just successful in their own businesses, but are also great 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. To help these entrepreneurs and would-be business owners, NatWest has a network of over 450 externally accredited Women in Business specialists who understand our customers’ ambitions and provide business advice, mentoring and networking opportunities.”