FIRST MINISTER TO CELEBRATE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF SCOTLAND'S WOMEN BUSINESS LEADERS

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, will shine a spotlight on the importance of women in enterprise when she joins leading businesswomen next Thursday 26th October at the inaugural Business Women Scotland Awards, in association with Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

The First Minister will be joined by keynote speaker Jessica Butcher, co-founder and Non-Executive Director of technology firm Blippar, who will make a call for more deliberate collaboration across enterprise agencies and the private sector to encourage more women to start their own businesses.

The Awards honour the achievements of business women from throughout Scotland, whether as an employer, employee, sole trader or in the third sector. Businesses shortlisted include a scaffolding company, a breastfeeding bra business, a waste management company and an enterprise investment firm. The range of finalists challenges traditional women’s business stereotypes and demonstrates the breadth and depth of businesses run by women across Scotland.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said; “I am delighted to see Business Women Scotland and Women’s Enterprise Scotland joining forces to celebrate and reward the best of Scotland’s women-led businesses. These awards show that there are many skilled businesswomen here in Scotland and we need to engage all of that talent to keep growing our economy. A diverse range of businesses is vital for a vibrant and prosperous Scotland and collaboration is key to success.”

Lynne Kennedy, Managing Editor of Business Women Scotland magazine said; “We are excited to be celebrating the outstanding female talent that we have in the Scottish business world. We believe the Awards are essential in highlighting the important part that women play in Scotland’s economic growth and the difference that they can make within both their local communities and representing the country on an international level. If you know of an inspiring woman in business, this is where they can be recognised for their hard work and dedication.”

Carolyn Currie, Chief Operating Officer at Women’s Enterprise Scotland said; “No nation can afford to restrict its pool of talent when seeking to grow productivity and competitiveness. Diversity powers innovation and creates a vibrant and prosperous economy. At the Awards we will highlight the achievements of the growing numbers of women-led businesses in Scotland and create a range of accessible role models to inspire more women to achieve their business aspirations.”

Also speaking at the Awards is Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who will deliver an address to an audience of over 300 of Scotland’s leading businesswomen via videolink. Jayne-Anne was author of ‘Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services’ and the catalyst for the Women in Finance Charter, a pledge for gender balance across financial services.

Jayne Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money said; “I am delighted to be involved in honouring the achievements of business women from throughout Scotland. We need diversity in business to reflect our society and to be innovative, creative and relevant. Creating the right culture for both women and men to flourish not only powers productivity and business performance, it is quite simply the right thing to do.”

Event sponsors include fin-tech company Nucleus Financial, Business Gateway, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses and Scotland CanDo.

David Ferguson, CEO of Nucleus Financial Group said; “While we’ve managed to make progress in growing our business and introducing greater transparency to financial services, I fear we haven’t achieved enough in promoting inclusion in either financial services or technology. We’re working harder than ever to put that right and I really hope that with the help of industry role models such as Jessica and Jayne-Anne that the shift toward more diverse senior teams will accelerate. Everyone at Nucleus is really excited to back these awards and look forward to celebrating with the winners.”

Sharon Munro, Chief Executive of Barrhead Travel, shortlisted for Employer of the Year said; “We are in the process of creating over 100 new jobs to meet the growing demand for our travel services. Good people are at the heart of our business and we will be investing in training and supporting skills development. I am delighted to be shortlisted for this award and I am looking forward to an inspiring evening.”

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, shortlisted for Business Woman of the Year said; “Connecting up business and industry with research and academia has direct impacts on Scotland’s wealth, health, environment and social developments. Innovation thrives in a collaborative environment and Interface’s engagement with all of Scotland’s communities in this process helps to sustain a competitive edge. Being shortlisted for the Business Woman of the Year Award alongside the other outstanding candidates recognises the range of roles women are undertaking to grow Scotland’s business community.”

Liz Hoskin, founder and Chief Radiator at Positive Qualities, shortlisted for Mentor of the Year said; “Mentoring is a critical resource for businesses seeking to start-up or grow. I would encourage more women to step forward and consider becoming business mentors. Women who go out of their way to support other women set off a ripple effect that leaves everyone better off.”

AWARDS SHORTLIST 2017

Business of the year – over 3yr

Mandy Bailey – Plant and Grow Ltd

Evelyn Toma - Re-tek (UK)Ltd

Jane Wyllie Roberts – Stafffinders

Jennifer MacKenzie – TEFL OrgUK

Start up business of the year

Lynn Warren - Betterlife

Kylie Reid - Edinburgh Gossip Girls

Sara Roberts - Healthy Nibbles

Anna Devitt - Direct Devitt

Alison Simpson – Red Bus Bistro

Growth Business of the year

Joanne Chidley – Beauty Kitchen UK Ltd

Sara Roberts – Healthy Nibbles

Laura Birrell – Sticky Heelz

Marianne Meehan – URBN/Tribe Yoga

Business Woman of The Year

Lynne Jhangeer – LINIAN Supply Co Ltd

Marie Macklin – Macklin Enterprise Partnerships Limited

Dr Siobhan Jordan – Interface

Theresa Wishart – Journeycall part of ESP Group

Dianne Teo – T30 Fitness Training

Jane Stewart – William Tracey Group

Best Use of Social Media

Kirsty Lunn – Molke Ltd

Tricia Ward – TW Communications

Helen Stewart – Badvo Distillery

Louise Tierney – Lash Inc

International Growth

Karen Somerville – Angels Share Glass

Jane Wyllie Roberts - Kingpin International Ltd

Dianne Teo – T30 Fitness Training

Mentor

Clair Smith - Enterprising Eastern Perthshire

Liz Hoskin Positive Qualities Ltd

Orlaith Brogan

Employer of the Year

Stephanie Stubbs – Hickory Foods

Celia Tennant – Inspiring Scotland

Sharon Munro - Barrhead Travel

Jeanette Forbes – PCL Group

Read more about the awards here.

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