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“Supporting female entrepreneurship drives diversity in the UK” says Branson

01 March 2016 12:00


On Friday 19th February, Virgin Media Business announced their support for the annual Rising Star Awards, recognising 100 females across the country. The awards will celebrate 100 individual female contributors, across a variety of sectors, that represent the leaders and role models of tomorrow. The awards are supported by a variety of companies including Virgin Media Business who sponsor the Entrepreneurship category.

Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said: “Supporting the growth of female entrepreneurs not only drives diversity within UK businesses but it also creates an environment for future entrepreneurial heroines to flourish and succeed, empowering future generations to succeed in business. I’m extremely proud that Virgin Media Business are sponsoring a fantastic category which will inspire our future leaders.”

The awards, which were founded in 2015, support women at non-board level, helping to drive the female talent pipeline across industries including: the public sector, technology, sales, media & journalism, and oil & gas.

Now in its second year, the awards are now recognising 100 females, up from the 50 recognised last year, and hope that through dedicated support and training they can empower the next generation of business leaders.

This year the awards will also introduce the Rising Star Champions, recognising both male and female senior leaders who actively support the female talent pipeline.

The Top 100 Rising Stars will be announced in June and all winners, sponsors and supporters will be invited to attend a prestigious evening reception at Barclays in London to celebrate and collect their awards.

Nominations will take place online at A shortlist of 10 women from each industry category chosen by an esteemed panel of judges will be published towards the end of April. The shortlist will then be open to a public vote.
The Top 100 Rising Stars will be announced in June and all winners, sponsors and supporters will be invited to attend a prestigious evening reception at Barclays in London to celebrate and collect their awards.

The Rising star awards are also supported by the following media partners, The Voice, Guardian Women in Leadership, Square Mile, Computer Weekly and Inclusive Networks.
Criteria for entries
• Open to all women regardless of age
• Nominees must be below management
• Nominees must be working within the industry of the category they are nominated for
• Individuals can nominate themselves

How we define a Rising Star
• Someone who is a champion of women in their business or sector
• Someone who strives to achieve success and results
• Someone who gives back or inspires others
• Someone who is recognised by others as having the potential to become a future leader in their industry

The Process
• Nominations open for all categories – 01 February
• Nominations close for all categories – 18 March
• Top 10 Shortlist from each category announced/public voting opens for all shortlisted nominees – 25 April
• Shortlist celebration event – 17 May
• Public voting closes for all shortlisted nominees – 27 May
• Top 5 Rising Stars for each category announced – 06 June
Top 100 Rising Stars drinks reception and awards for winners, guests and sponsors at Barclays – 30 June

For further information please visit,
Or email

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Press Contacts

Chantelle Akerman

Head of Operations



About WeAreTheCity

The aim of WeAreTheCity is to provide an information careers and lifestyle portal for women working in London and across the UK. It was founded in 2008 by husband and wife team, Stewart & Vanessa Vallely with the intention of providing career orientated content to working women and entrepreneurs across London.

Other key facts

• It has been funded by both founders and was run as a not for profit from 2008 to 2013.
• WeAreTheCity has a database of over 30,000 professional and entrepreneurial women.
• The company has a projected reach (via network relationships) of approx. 400,000 women across the UK.
• WeAreTheCity experiences over 4million hits per month, 210,000 unique visitors
• is the top 1% of visited websites in the UK (as per, ranking at 7,275 out of 10 million websites
registered in the UK, 181,977 out of 1 billion websites worldwide.
• WeAreTheCity has a job board offering specifically aimed at our female members, which was
launched in October 2012.
• has a sister site based in India which was just launched in March 2013, This is
currently sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP
• We have a combined social media reach of 9,000 via Twitter, 1,500 on Facebook and 5,000 members on LinkedIN.
• WeAreTheCity has over 25 resident bloggers and over 250 volunteer writers.
• We generate around 25-30 unique pieces of content per week.
• We supports over 25 charities with free advertising through our Giving Back section.

WeAreTheCity provides the following services.

• Provides career and lifestyle orientated information to professional and entrepreneurial women working in London and
across the UK.
• Provides corporates with a platform (through to advertise their open vacancies directly to a female
• Project manages events for corporates who wish to engage with particular demographic of women (eg Technology).
• Provides a platform for corporate companies to enhance their brand within the female community by publishing gender
related content.
• Provides a platform for female entrepreneurs to advertise and promote their quality products or services to a large female
• Offers training opportunities to our members via free webinars.
• Profiles inspirational women across the UK in order to raise their profile and inspire our members.
• Promotes restaurants, bars, business schools, wellness activities in London plus other female centric services.
• Provides competitions and unique discounts for our members.
• Provides our own events, eg networking drinks 4 times per year.
• Engages with our members via a bi-weekly newsletter and various social media feeds.
• Promotes female leadership programmes and opportunities for women to up-skill outside their corporate environments.
• Provides a calendar of events from female networks and other learning providers.
• Provides a directory of recommended coaches.
• Promotes giving back activities (Charities and social enterprises) to our membership to encourage them to give back to their
• Provides a platform for female writers to share their stories and experiences with other women.

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