Finalists announced for NatWest everywoman awards

Spanning industries as broad as manufacturing, design, professional services, technology and the   arts, the finalists are diverse in background, location, experience and age making them accessible, inspirational role models for every entrepreneur at any stage of their enterprise journey.

Judged by 19 of the country’s most successful businesswomen including Chrissie Rucker MBE, Cath Kidston MBE, Julia Hands MBE, Amanda Wakeley OBE and Rosaleen Blair, the finalists impressed with their drive, appetite for risk and unwavering focus on business growth.

The surge of entrepreneurship has been one of the most encouraging business trends of the last decade with record numbers of new business registrations. The prospect of lighter regulation, lower corporation tax, an enviable pool of talent and venture capital funding makes the UK one of the easiest countries to launch and grow a business. Yet the rate of women-led business start-ups remains significantly lower than that of men – 5.7% versus 10%. Research undertaken by Deloitte suggests that targeted help for early stage women entrepreneurs could provide a £100bn boost to the UK economy over the next 10 years, proving the need to provide a better environment in which women-led entrepreneurial businesses will succeed at similar levels as for men, thereby benefiting the companies, stakeholders and, ultimately, the national economy. The FSB agrees, with its report by the Women’s Business Council suggesting that the UK is missing out on some 1.2 million enterprises due to the untapped business potential of women and recommends more visible and diverse role models as one of its seven key recommendations.

This year’s finalists are:

The Artemis Award – sponsored by Crystal Clear – for an inspirational woman running a business trading 18 months to three years:

The Demeter Award

– sponsored by Nutriment – for an inspirational woman running a business trading for between three and five years:

  • Becky Fatemi from London – Rokstone
  • Grace Lachowicz from London – Dekko Interiors
  • Helen Lord from Widnes, Cheshire – Used Kitchen Exchange

The Athena Award

– for an inspirational woman running a business trading for between six and nine years:

  • Joanne Bass from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire – XL Displays
  • Jo Loveridge from Maidstone, Kent – Albany Funerals
  • Rachel Ray from Manchester – Bright & Beautiful

The Hera Award

– for an inspirational woman running a business trading for 10 years or more:

The Iris Award

– sponsored by Dell, for an inspirational woman running a business that uses technology in an innovative and disruptive way:

  • Fiona Hudson-Kelly from Rugby, Warwickshire – Smart Assessor
  • Kate McLaughlin from London – We Got POP
  • Amber Vodegel from Godalming, Surrey – Health & Parenting

The Aphrodite Award –

sponsored by the Daily Mail – for a mumpreneur who founded her business whilst raising children aged 12 or under:

Brand of the Future

– sponsored by The White Company – for an entrepreneur whose early stage business demonstrates huge potential for growth:

Speaking about the finalists, everywoman Co-founder Maxine Benson MBE comments, “The ambition, success and humility of our finalists make them all strong accessible role models for other women and girls considering starting their own business. Gender has never been a barrier to great ideas or initiatives and this year’s finalists bear that out. We live in one of the best countries for entrepreneurship and there is no better place for enterprise to flourish, as our finalists prove. We wish them continued success and good luck!”

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 340 externally accredited Women in Business specialists who understand our customers’ ambitions and provide business advice, mentoring and networking opportunities.”

The winners of the seven categories will be announced on Wednesday 7th December at a lunch reception at The Dorchester Hotel attended by over 300 leading figures from business, politics, the media and the City.