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The search is on for female entrepreneurs

22 April 2014 17:38

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Female entrepreneurs following in the footsteps of Jo Malone MBE, Hilary Devey CBE, Kelly Hoppen MBE and Cath Kidston MBE are being sought as the 2014 NatWest everywoman Awards open for entry. Britain’s most successful programme supporting female enterprise has attracted thousands of entries and recognised the achievements of dozens of women in its 12 year history. At its annual ceremony stories of extraordinary tenacity and determination are brought to the fore as the cream of the business and political worlds celebrate the achievements of the UK’s leading business owners.

There are now almost 1.5 million women self-employed in the UK, which represents an increase of around 300,000 since before the economic downturn*. Whilst on the increase, this figure is still disproportionately low compared with the number of male-owned businesses, and the NatWest everywoman Awards aims to address the imbalance, highlighting the achievements of exceptional women of all ages. By raising awareness and creating role models, the Awards’ purpose is to show others that anything is possible and give them the confidence and courage to follow their business dreams.

The NatWest everywoman Awards are free to enter and individuals can be nominated or can enter themselves at www.everywoman.com/ewawards. The core categories are:

Artemis - for a woman running a business who is aged 25 or under.
Demeter – for a woman running a business who is aged between 26 and 35.
Athena – for a woman running a business who is aged between 36 and 49.
Hera – for a woman running a business who is aged 50 or over.

Specialist category:
Iris - This Award is given to the most inspirational and successful female entrepreneur who runs a business that uses technology in an innovative and disruptive way. Sponsored by IBM.

Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman comments: “With categories according to age we aim to show the development of businesses from the hungry start-ups fuelled by passion and determination through to mature, global organisations that make significant contributions to the economy and employment. We have identified that role models are crucial in their influence of women making decisions about their professional future and these awards are important in highlighting success stories and inspiring future generations of entrepreneurs. The profile attributed by the awards has helped many of our winners and finalists grow their businesses further, and provides valuable networking opportunities.”

Anne McPherson, Managing Director, Enterprise at NatWest says, "We are delighted to support the NatWest everywoman awards for the 12th year in a row. These awards have showcased many excellent role models over the years, and have offered great encouragement to female entrepreneurs at all stages of their business journey. At NatWest, we have seen a tangible increase in the number of women starting up in business, and we continue to be committed to encouraging more women to do so. To this end, we have a network of over 200 externally accredited Women in Business Specialists across the country who share and understand our customers' ambitions, and provide business advice, networking and mentoring opportunities to help them build successful businesses and fulfil their potential".

Nominations are made online at www.everywoman.com/ewawards until 7 July.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony held on 3 December 2014 at The Dorchester Hotel, London and will be attended by hundreds of the UK’s leading businesswomen, politicians, media and VIPS. For further information and for table bookings, please contact everywoman directly on 020 7981 2574.

ENDS

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