The NatWest everywoman Awards celebrates the UK’s brightest female entrepreneurs, from innovative start-ups to established multi-million-pound organisations and will this year celebrate its 15th anniversary. During this time it has become a highly regarded programme supported by some of the country’s most eminent business figures as well as political figureheads. The 15th NatWest everywoman Awards are now open for entries, urging female entrepreneurs to put themselves forward or to nominate other inspirational women.
Previous winners include Jo Malone MBE, Kelly Hoppen MBE, Chrissie Rucker MBE, Amanda Wakeley OBE, Cath Kidston MBE, Dame Karren Brady and Kanya King MBE, several of whom have continued their support of the awards by participating in the rigorous judging process. However, the awards are about more than famous faces; they are presented to women at every stage of the business lifecycle from 18-month- old start-ups to well-established, international companies while showcasing the achievements of nominees, often in the face of adversity. Research by the Women’s Business Council has shown that the UK economy is still missing out on over 1.2 million new enterprises due to the untapped business potential of women. If every woman who wanted to run her own business actually did so, it would lead to 340,000 new businesses.
The 2016 Winners
One of the biggest barriers to successful female entrepreneurship was found to be a lack of access to visible role models. 83% of women who have started their own business know someone else who did the same, suggesting that being exposed to role models, particularly female, can have a significant influence on their career choice. This is why the NatWest everywoman Awards play such an important role in demonstrating that entrepreneurship is a viable career option in itself across infinite industry sectors.
Dozens of previous finalists and winners testify to the impact the awards programme has had on their businesses. 2016 Woman of the Year Grace Lachowicz, of Dekko Interiors, said: “Winning the NatWest everywoman Award has been a truly uplifting experience for myself and my Dekko Interiors team. Everyone has felt a real sense of achievement and the company is enjoying a new lease of life! The award is already bringing new publicity to the Dekko brand and is immeasurable in terms of its importance for women in business, such a breath of fresh air!”
The 2015 Winners
The awards are free to enter via http://www.everywoman.com/ewawards and the deadline for entry is 3 July 2017.
The 2017 award categories are:
ARTEMIS – sponsored by Crystal Clear - 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 – Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading from 6 to 9 years.
HERA – Awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading for 10 years or more.
GAIA – sponsored by Montezuma’s Chocolate - 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.
Karen Gill MBE, co-founder of everywoman, said: “One of the greatest achievements of the NatWest everywoman Awards is creating role models that enable women to fulfil their entrepreneurial potential. 15 years on, everywoman remains dedicated to shining the light on women from different backgrounds who have overcome the challenges faced when starting a business and grown them into some of the most valuable contributors to the UK economy”
Karen Gill MBE
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest, added: “We are very proud of our 17- year partnership with everywoman – together we are helping more women set up in business, encouraging existing women-owned businesses to grow, showcasing fantastic role models, and developing our female talent. These awards celebrate some amazing role models who inspire other women to take their first steps in realising their business ambitions. NatWest has developed a network of over 400 externally accredited Women in Business specialist across the UK who provide our female customers with tailored business support, skills development, mentoring, local networking events and more. At NatWest we’re committed to supporting and encouraging more women to start up and succeed in business.”
This year’s winners will be announced at a ceremony held on 6 December 2017 at The Dorchester, London and will be attended by hundreds of the UK’s leading business figures, politicians and media.