The deadline to enter the 2020 NatWest everywoman awards has been extended funtil Monday 20 July. Against the backdrop of Covid-19 and lockdown, entrepreneurs around the country have been demonstrating their flexibility and vision as demand for new products and services create an unprecedented opportunity for innovation and enterprise. Centered on the theme ‘Female entrepreneurship: keeping pace in a changing world,’ the 18th annual NatWest everywoman Awards will identify and celebrate the inspirational female founders whose creativity and resilience will help Britain weather the current economic storm.
Announcing £330 billion in state loan guarantees for businesses and £20 billion in tax relief and grants, alongside earlier efforts in last month’s budget to boost enterprise, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has recognised the invaluable contribution of entrepreneurs and small businesses, which provide three fifths of employment in the UK.
However, studies show that funding directed at female-led businesses remains woefully lacking, leading to a major economic shortfall. It is estimated that female entrepreneurs could contribute £250 billion to the economy if they had opportunities to start and scale their businesses at the same rate as men. The disparity creates an economically short-sighted disadvantage for women, particularly at a time of uncertainty when talent and enterprise are needed the most.
This is why the NatWest everywoman Awards is so important – for 18 years it has built a community of female business owners and exemplary role models to share knowledge and ideas, connecting them with advisors, peers and potential investors.
Karen Gill MBE, Co-Founder of everywoman, comments, “Since we launched these awards in 2003 we have seen thousands of entrepreneurs share the highs and the lows of their business journeys. The country, indeed the world, now faces its biggest economic challenge in generations. It will be the entrepreneurs who will be sufficiently adroit to identify and act on the opportunities. All eyes will be on the business community in the months ahead and our focus will be on the extraordinary women whose vision, energy and ambition will contribute to Britain’s recovery.”
Yvonne Greeves, Director of Women in Business, at NatWest, says: “We are very proud to launch this year’s call for nominations to the NatWest everywoman Awards. Now, more than ever, we need to recognise the importance of female entrepreneurship to the economy and inspire women to take their first steps in business. NatWest has a network of over 600 everywoman accredited Women in Business specialists who understand our customers’ ambitions and provide business advice, mentoring and networking opportunities.”
The 2020 award categories are as follows:
- FORTUNA – For a stand-out individual who invests in women-founded businesses
- GAIA – sponsored by Montezuma’s –For an inspirational female founder of a social enterprise who has combined strong community benefit with a sustainable business model
- APHRODITE – sponsored by Daily Mail – For to a woman who founded her business whilst raising a child/children aged 12 or under
- BRAND OF THE FUTURE – sponsored by The White Company – For a female founder of a business that demonstrates great potential for growth
- ARTEMIS – For an inspirational woman running a business trading for 18 months to 3 years
- DEMETER – sponsored by Nutriment – For an inspirational woman running a business trading from 3 to 5 years
- ATHENA – For an inspirational woman running a business trading from 6 to 9 years
- HERA – For an inspirational woman running a business trading for 10 years or more
The NatWest everywoman Awards are free to enter and are judged by a panel of esteemed female entrepreneurs whose own journeys mirror those of the entrants: Rosaleen Blair CBE (Alexander Mann Solutions); Chrissie Rucker OBE (The White Company) and Melissa Odabash, amongst others. The awards are under the patronage of the UK’s most successful female entrepreneur, Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers.
Entries close on 20 July and winners will be announced at a ceremony on 3 December 2020 at The J W Mariott Grosvenor House. For further information and to nominate visit everywoman.com/ewawards