Women in Business Award: Could it be you?

We're on the hunt to find inspiring, innovative start-ups founded by women. Find out if you have what it takes to win the Startups Awards accolade...

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Why have we got a Women in Business of the Year category?

Gender diversity and pay inequality in the workplace remain hot topics.

Although the number of businesses started by men still considerably outweighs those started by women, long-standing barriers are being broken down, encouraging more women to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.

From the thriving tech scene, to food and drink and the creative industries, female entrepreneurs are making their mark and showing an increasing appetite for enterprise.

But more needs to be done to support women in business and close the gender gap. After all, it’s not just women that benefit from improved gender diversity – everybody does: calculations from McKinsey have estimated that if the UK were to match Switzerland for progress towards gender parity, an additional £200bn could be added to GDP in 2025.

Little known female entrepreneurs are quietly building some of the most innovative and exciting start-ups of the moment and the Startups Awards Women in Business Award, sponsored by AXA Business Insurance, seeks to celebrate the achievements and contributions female entrepreneurs make to UK enterprise.

By shining a light on their success, we hope to help inspire and encourage the next generation to follow their business dreams.

What are we looking for in a great woman in business?

We’re looking for inspiring and innovative businesses founded or co-founded by women that have strong growth potential.

2017’s winner of the Women in Business Award was Tricia Cusden, founder of fast-growth make-up brand Look Fabulous Forever, beating stiff competition from the likes of  Nikki Cochrane and Kathryn Tyler of social training provider Digital Mums and Kintija Belska and Monika Ludwiczak of beauty brand Everlasting Brows.

At 65 years-old, Cusden – who launched Look Fabulous Forever in 2013 – wowed the Startups Awards judges with an innovative USP (beauty which caters to the over 55 market), marketing success with 27,000 customers and counting, and an impressive social media base with more than four and a half million YouTube views of her brand’s tutorial videos.

Other previous winners include Pip Murray, founder of natural nut butter and almond milk brand Pip & Nut, Debbie Williamson of online furniture retailer Swoon Editions, and Sara Jones, co-founder of online recruitment marketplace Hiring Hub.

To apply for the Women in Business Award, your business must be independently owned, have started trading no earlier than 1 August 2014 and no later than 31 July 2017, and be UK-founded and UK-based.

Why you should enter the Women in Business Award

As well as the honour of being recognised by the prestigious Awards, category sponsor AXA Business Insurance, and a panel of expert judges, the Startups Awards are a good chance to receive a significant PR boost and national exposure.

Official recognition of your growth potential can also help to impress potential investors, connect with new customers, boost your staff morale and even find new quality employees.

As well as these potential perks, winners and finalists receive a template press release to boost media coverage, a logo for marketing and have video interviews displayed on the Startups Awards website.

Think you’ve got what it takes to win the Women in Business Award? Submit your entry for the Startups Awards 2018 now.

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