TV's Rosie Dummer hosts at Blackpool's Empress Ballroom as Preston, Chorley, Fylde , Burnley and Lancaster female entrepreneurs lead charge at EVAS
Female entrepreneurs from Preston, Chorley, Fylde, Burnley and Lancaster led the charge at the North West’s most prestigious business awards – the EVAs.
The Enterprise Vision Awards (EVAs) celebrated the outstanding work of women in business in the iconic Empress Ballroom at Blackpool Winter Gardens.
Hosted by TV celebrity and extreme cake maker, Rosie Dummer, the EVAS saw record attendance with more than 720 guests who dressed to out-dazzle Blackpool’s illuminations.
The ethos behind the awards is to promote female entrepreneurship and shine a spotlight on the region’s role models to inspire more women to feel empowered and to aim higher.
Lancashire had its highest number of winners for years with ten awards being won across the county.
In the Fylde, Kila Redfearn of Blue Skies Hospitals Funds won the Charity of the Year Award sponsored by Blackpool Transport. Joanna Hill of Sid Hill Transport won the New Business Award sponsored by Blackpool Unlimited and Sonya Carpenito of Bistro Italia in Poulton won the Customer Services Award sponsored by United Utilities.
Lesley Crowe, Marketing and Office Manager at Blackpool Unlimited said: “Statistics show women are less confident than men when starting a business, and that is why at Blackpool Unlimited we have been supporting and championing women in Blackpool to launch a wide range of businesses for many years; we want to help women in business get the recognition they deserve and sponsoring the new business category at this year’s EVA Awards provides an excellent high-profile opportunity to celebrate successful women entrepreneurs.”
Prestonian entrepreneur, Dani Wallace of I Am The Queen Bee, won the Training and Coaching Award sponsored by Risk Support Services. The judges said that: “Built on the back of her own traumatic experiences Dani is on a mission to help people Show up, Wise up and Rise up. Passionate, dedicated and inspired, she is growing the business with sensitivity and always with the safety of the women at its core – this has attracted funding worth £3m over the next 3 years.”
The Employee of the Year Award was won by Lisa Ross of the Burnley charity BPRCVS. The judges said “She showed great insight into the strategy, planning and growth potential of the charity and her role in achieving these objectives, she’s a remarkable woman.”
Sponsor, Jackie Hyde of Stanmore Insurance said “We love being a part of the EVAs family, the submissions this year have been incredible. As a female-led and owned business it’s really exciting to be part of an amazing community of women in business we were impressed by all the finalists."
Two outstanding local entrepreneurs from Lancaster scooped awards. Ciara Moriarty of The Performance Studios in Lancaster won the Creative Industry Award as she impressed the judges with her work with children; helping to build confidence and nurture talent through singing, dancing and acting classes regardless of their background or experience. Best Business winner, Jannicke Ive of A Family’s Best Friend in Morecambe is committed to providing specialist care on a one to one basis for young people with complex needs. The judges said: “She is a force for good”.
A dozen finalists from Chorley competed for the awards. Stacey Turner and Louise Myers of CG Professional won the Professional Services Award sponsored by Costco Wholesale UK. The judges said: “This power duo came to a busy marketplace as newcomers and smashed it. They challenged the status quo to get rid of the red tape to deliver dynamic legal advice without recording time, unheard of in the industry.”
Charlotte Knowles of Elektec based in Blackburn, won the Family Business Award. The judges said. “Charlotte is building a legacy for their children, their team and their community.” Family Business sponsor, Laura Hartley, Managing Director of LHR Recruitment and Retention said “I was really pleased to be able to sponsor the Family Business Award. Having recently started a family business myself, it’s an award that’s close to my heart and I know how rewarding it can be.”
NatWest’s Regional Ecosystem Manager, Heather Waters said “We are delighted to again be the headline sponsor of this year’s EVAs. It’s vital that we continue to recognise the hard work and achievements made by women from across our communities in the North West, and we look forward to celebrating their successes”.
Coral Horn, founder of the EVAS and Pink Link said: “All our finalists should be hugely proud of their achievements, the competition was intense and highly contested. Well done to the winners who stepped up and went the extra mile.”
She closed with news that next year, an expo for women in business will be held the day before the awards bringing an additional boost for female driven business in the region.
The winners of the 2022 Enterprise Vision Awards are:
Best Business - Jannicke Ive of A Family's Best Friend
Business Woman - Sam White of the Freedom Services Group
Charity of the Year - Kila Redfearn of Blue Skies Hospital Fund
Creative Industry - Ciara Moriarty of The Performance Studios
Customer Services - Sonya Carpenito of Bistro Italia
Employee of the Year - Lisa Ross of BPRCVS
Family Business - Charlotte Knowles of Elektec
Health and Wellbeing - Zoe Wilson of ZW Clinics
Hospitality Industry - Amanda Wilson of The Pie Mill
Inspirational Woman - Rosemarie Whittington of Me2U Centre
Internet Industry - Annette Joseph MBE of Diverse and Equal
New Business - Joanna Hill of Sid Hill Transport
Professional Services - Stacey Turner & Louise Myers of CG Professional
Retail Business - Helen Hardy of Foudys.com
Solo Business - Pippa Hughes of Postcake.com
Sustainable Business - Celia Gaze of The Wellbeing Farm
Training & Coaching - Dani Wallace of I Am The Queen Bee
Young Entrepreneur - Helen Quayle of LaserHQ
Outstanding Achievement - Deborah Dixon of The Aaron Dixon Memorial Fund
One To Watch - Georgia Wheadon of Umii