*Carolyn Pearson is among 34 female entrepreneurs shortlisted for Innovate UK’s infocus awards, which seek to support inspiring women in innovation today and tomorrow*

Following a nationwide competition to identify and empower the country’s most promising female entrepreneurs and future business leaders, this October Innovate UK have announced the names of their 34 2016 infocus finalists.

The finalist from global businesswomen’s network and safety solutions provider Maiden Voyage, Carolyn Pearson, impressed Innovate UK’s panel with her tech-savvy approach to innovation in business, with a proposal of gamification via development of an app, to expand the global reach and reward of Maiden Voyage for its members.

With women in the UK half as likely to start a new business as their male counterparts, or indeed seek out external sources of funding, Innovate UK’s 2016 infocus awards have sought to redress this imbalance by celebrating, supporting and enabling women in innovation through a package of business support, as well as a grant of £50,000 with which to develop their innovations.
Carolyn Pearson had to say: “It’s hugely exciting to be recognised as a finalist in these awards. I’ve somehow managed to merge my passion for travel, technology and supporting other women to create a dream career whilst making the lives of women travellers better and safer.”

Though the UK university landscape is typified by high numbers of female graduates, and the majority of the country’s most educated workforce is female, women remain underrepresented in many key industries. Indeed, the 2016 infocus campaign launched following an analysis of 8,566 historic funding applications, highlighting that there is little difference in the quality of applications submitted by women and men, yet just 1 in 7 applications (14%) for funding were from women. The finalists of the 2016 infocus awards represent an inspiring cross-section of disciplines and passions; passions that Innovate UK hope to foster and help grow to meet their full potential.

Dr. Ruth McKernan CBE and Chief Executive of Innovate UK says: ‘The data on applications for InnovateUK funding and the output of our ebiquity report has been frankly more disappointing than I expected. There are so many talented women with great business ideas. The UK economy would be improved by a better gender balance in our entrepreneurs and business leaders. 2016 has been a ground-breaking year for us, and I hope that in supporting and telling the stories of our finalists and winners, we can inspire others to succeed.’


About Innovate UK:
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. We are business focused and drive disruptive innovation. We fund and connect pioneering businesses so they can create the products, processes and industries of the future. We boost productivity, increase exports and help the UK economy grow. For further information and to stay updated on our latest news visit, follow us on Twitter at @innovateuk or subscribe to our YouTube channel at

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About Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage, the world’s only specialist network for female business travellers. Launched in 2008 to connect female business travellers, Maiden Voyage has set the global standard for ‘Female Friendly Hotels’ and has become the go-to resource for all things female business traveller related. Maiden Voyage has both individual and corporate members in over 80 countries and a team of global ambassadors to support inbound female business travellers by providing female specific travel safety advice and female business traveller safety training.

Having won numerous awards, Maiden Voyage has been widely featured in the international press including the Economist, the Mintel Report, the New York Times, CNN, BBC and the Guardian.