Women in Business Award 2014: Meet the finalists
Startups reveals the three female entrepreneurs running impressive, fast-growth start-ups
Sadly, the entrepreneurial landscape is still widely male-dominated so we want to make sure we celebrate innovative and impressive businesses that are started and run by women.
With previous winners such as Holly Tucker of notonthehighstreet.com, this award recognises ambitious female entrepreneurs on the UK start-up scene at the moment.
As a founding member of energy management device start-up 4eco, renewable energy specialist Jodi Huggett has been instrumental in the young company’s success-to-date. As innovation director, Huggett has been responsible for identifying customers, potential markets and future technologies as well as securing exclusive distribution agreements across the globe and ensuring 4eco’s flagship product immerSUN is the number one selling product in its market. Huggett is extremely passionate about 4eco’s success, working on the start-up whilst also battling cancer. Thankfully now in remission, Huggett is a testament to what can be achieved with dedication and drive.
Currently the only female managing directors of a UK-based optical brand, sisters Julie and Jayne Abel felt the somewhat traditional eyewear industry was in need of a shake-up. Wanting to create a brand that would embrace new technology with a ‘corporation mentality’ but family-brand intimacy, Julie and Jayne are involved in every stage of production and distribution for the start-up’s six House Brands. Now processing thousands of orders and with a team of 23, Eyespace’s “fashion-conscious” eyewear has certainly made a splash in this competitive market.
In her previous role working for a survey service company, Gemma Ferris spotted a gap in the market for renewable energy products and services – delivered with excellent customer service. Starting the business with her husband in late 2012, the start-up has taken a progressive approach to a traditional industry, a ploy that is clearly delivering. With turnover doubled in the last year, there is evidently a demand for the profitable company that aims to “design and create ingenious solutions to engineering problems”.
Successful female entrepreneur and CEO of TechHub Elizabeth Varley will be leading the judging group for our Women in Business award that also includes Natasha Frangos, partner at accountancy firm haysmacintyre and head of its creative, media and technology sector. Judges will be looking for the most impressive business with a woman at its helm.