The prestigious NatWest everywoman Awards for women business owners has opened for nominations.
The awards have been running for 16 years and recognise the success of women from a wide variety of industries.
Judged by successful female business owners, the awards distinguish between the challenges of the start-up years through scale up and international expansion. The judges, including Chrissie Rucker OBE, Cath Kidston MBE, Amanda Wakeley OBE and Poonam Gupta OBE, also look at how technology, innovation, diversity and social impact have helped businesses to thrive and grow.
Everywoman says that over the last 16 years the number of women business owners has increased “exponentially”, with women starting 126,000 businesses annually, representing 7.3% of economic growth. But it says Britain is still missing out on an estimated 1.2 million businesses due to the untapped potential of women. It adds that in the UK alone, women-owned SMEs contribute approximately £75 billion to overall economic output and that increasing female participation in the sector by just 4% would take their overall economic contribution to more than £180 billion by 2025. It could also reduce the gender pay gap, it says.
Karen Gill MBE, co-founder of everywoman, says: “The impact these awards have on those who are nominated cannot be underestimated. Our winners go on to secure investment, mentors, government recognition and profile in the media as a result of the exposure and credibility these awards bring to their businesses. We have always been passionate about the importance of role models – in the words of Marian Wright Edelman, ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’; 74% of our everywoman Network membership cite role models as a major source of their inspiration and this, coupled with the economic impact of more female entrepreneurs, mean that the NatWest everywoman Awards continue to be both relevant and essential.”
The 2018 NatWest everywoman Awards are free to enter here and the deadline for entry is 2 July 2018.
The 2018 award categories are:
The winners will be announced at a ceremony held on 5 December 2018 at The Dorchester.