FINALISTS ANNOUNCED IN THE 2018 NATWEST EVERYWOMAN AWARDS
Entrepreneurs celebrated in the UK’s leading awards programme for women in business
Twenty-two women from across the UK are announced today as finalists in the 2018 NatWest everywoman Awards.
For 16 years, the NatWest everywoman Awards have celebrated female entrepreneurs from all walks of life and created a platform for them to share their achievements. This year is no exception. From the founders of international multi-million-pound empires to those spearheading social enterprises for the greater good, the 2018 finalists are the role models whose success will inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs. This year’s finalists were chosen by a judging panel comprising some of the UK’s top businesswomen, including Chrissie Rucker OBE (The White Company), Rosaleen Blair CBE (Alexander Mann Solutions), Poonam Gupta OBE (PG Paper Company) and Fashion Designer Melissa Odabash.
Research shows that whilst funding for entrepreneurs in the UK as a whole doubled in 2017, the proportion invested in female-founded businesses fell from 14.9% to 8.5%. * Women reported having to constantly deal with unconscious biases from investors and defy stereotypes such as prioritising raising a family over their career goals. ** The UK could unlock a £10bn boost to the economy if it supported potential female entrepreneurs and tackled these challenges preventing them from starting a business. *** This is why the work that the NatWest everywoman Awards programme does to highlight successful female-owned businesses, is so important.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 5 December 2018 at The Dorchester, London. Aside from category winners, the Spirit of everywoman Award will be awarded to a woman whose pioneering spirit has helped change the landscape for businesswomen in the UK. The everywoman Ambassador Award will be awarded to a high-profile entrepreneur for her phenomenal business achievements, highlighting her as a role model to young women.
The 2018 category awards finalists are:
- ARTEMIS - sponsored by Crystal Clear International - Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading for 18 months to 3 years
- DEMETER - sponsored by Nutriment - Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading from 3 to 5 years
- ATHENA - sponsored by IBMiX - Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading from 6 to 9 years
- HERA - sponsored by EDF Energy - Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading for 10 years or more
- GAIA – 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
- APHRODITE - sponsored by Daily Mail - Awarded 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 - awarded to the female founder of a business that demonstrates great potential for growth
Speaking about the finalists, Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founder at everywoman comments: “Despite the fact that the UK is one of the best places to grow a business, only one third are owned by women****, and everywoman is committed to recognising and addressing the reasons behind this. By unlocking the talent within aspiring female entrepreneurs, we are moving closer to the £10billion contribution they could make to the UK economy**. This year’s finalists are a demonstration of the innovation that women already bring to entrepreneurship. Their inspirational stories will encourage others to follow in their footsteps”
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.
* Forbes – Funding For Female Entrepreneurs In the UK Takes A Tumble (2018)
** The Unilever Foundry - Diversity in the startup space: Almost half of startups believe there is a gender bias problem (2018)
***Independent: Women hold the key to the UK economy
****RBS.com: Alison Rose appointed to lead a government review to identify barriers faced by women when starting a business