Ten years of female enterprise celebrated as leading entrepreneurs are honoured

From live entertainment to retail to technology innovation, the winners in the 2012 NatWest everywoman awards are making their mark across a diverse range of industries.

2012 winners included Jessica Rose, aged just 25 who fought potential bankruptcy to lead her enterprise, London Jewellery School to be the largest independent provider of amateur and professional courses in the country.

Hayley Gait-Golding was also recognised for her vision in launching BEAR Nibbles, providing healthy fruit snacks, which are now sold in all major supermarkets.

Winner of the ‘Athena’ category was Julie Deane, who started the Cambridge Satchel Company to fund school fees, and now operates internationally, with a turnover of £9 million in its fourth year of trading.

Award winner Janis Sinton was forced to run her business alone following her husband’s sudden death, and has grown TasteTech into a global, multi-million pound enterprise providing pioneering solutions for the food industry.

The coveted NatWest everywoman Award, which recognises a passionate and dedicated woman business owner who has overcome significant challenges to achieve outstanding business success went to Liz Doogan-Hobbs MBE of Liz Hobbs Group Ltd. Having overcome a near fatal accident as a professional water skier, she set up the company, providing music concerts after sporting events. With an annual turnover of £7 million her business is responsible for growing attendances at sporting events across the country, providing racecourse owners with a new, lucrative revenue stream.

These pioneering awards were launched in 2003 with the vision of showcasing the diversity and phenomenal success women business owners across the UK are achieving – many going entirely unrecognised – in order to inspire future generations.

In the past decade, these awards have raised the profile of hundreds of women of all ages, across every imaginable sector, demonstrating the impact of female owned enterprises, which contribute a staggering £130 billion to the UK economy each year.

The extraordinary achievements of previous winners and finalists have played a huge role in encouraging other women to start and grow a business.

Specialist category Award winners include the inspirational Elli Chapman, awarded the ‘Gaia’ category for her social enterprise Culture Works East, and ‘Hestia’ winner Cleopatra Browne who is making a difference to her local community in Pembrokeshire with her adventure sports company, Celtic Quest Coasteering. Taking home the ‘Iris’ award for a technology business that makes a difference was Jessica Butcher, with her hugely successful tech

Commenting on this year’s winners, everywoman co-founder, Karen Gill MBE, says, “Over the past ten years we have uncovered incredible stories of professional triumphs, so many of which have been in the face of incredible adversity.

This year more than ever the judges were humbled by the extraordinary tenacity and determination shown by the finalists.  Drive to succeed takes on new meaning with these women and the word ‘inspiring’ doesn’t do justice to their achievements.

We know that there are thousands of women around the UK with a business idea and we are here to support them as their concept turns into reality.  Today’s winners are testimony that with hard work and persistence – dreams of enterprise can come true.”

Anne McPherson, Managing Director, Diversity in Business at NatWest added, “At NatWest, we have long recognised the economic benefit that encouraging more women-owned businesses can bring and are committed to helping women achieve their ambitions through our network of accredited Women in Business Specialist Relationship Managers. Our partnership with everywoman also allows us to open up personal development opportunities to our staff and our customers in the areas that women tell us are important to them.”

The 2012 ‘Spirit of everywoman’ award, which honours one woman who has changed the landscape for women in business was bestowed on award-winning author and founder of the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction,  Kate Mosse, recognised for her dedication to raising the profile of women in literature.

The recipient of the ‘everywoman Ambassador’ Award for 2012, awarded to a successful woman whose achievements and high profile inspire more young women to excel, was iconic fashion designer Amanda Wakeley OBE, a favoured designer of luminaries such as Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet and Dame Helen Mirren.

The full list of winners follows:

ARTEMIS – for an inspirational businesswoman aged 25 and under – sponsored by Crystal Clear

Jessica Rose – London Jewellery School

DEMETER – for an inspirational businesswoman aged 26-35 – sponsored by Financial Mail on Sunday

Hayley Gait-Golding – BEAR Nibbles

ATHENA – for an inspirational businesswoman aged 36-49 – sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions

Julie Dean – Cambridge Satchel Company

HERA – for an inspirational businesswoman aged 50+ – sponsored by Cisco

Janis Sinton – TasteTech

GAIA – for an inspirational woman running a business with a social or ethical purpose – sponsored by The White Company

Elli Chapman – Culture Works East (CWE)

HESTIA – for an inspirational woman running a business in a remote rural location and making a  contribution to the local community – sponsored by Countryside Alliance

Cleopatra Browne – Celtic Quest Coasteering

IRIS – for the most inspirational and successful female entrepreneur who runs a technology business that makes a difference – sponsored by IBM

Jessica Butcher – Blippar

SPIRIT – honouring a woman who has changed the landscape for women in business

Kate Mosse

AMBASSADOR – honouring a woman whose achievements and high profile inspire young women to excel – sponsored by Marie-Claire

Amanda Wakeley

NATWEST EVERYWOMAN AWARD – for the most passionate and dedicated businesswoman who has overcome significant challenges to achieve outstanding business success

Liz Doogan-Hobbs MBE – Liz Hobbs Group