Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Forward Ladies Celebrates the Success of Business Women in the Midlands

The esteemed National Awards were introduced eight years ago to acknowledge, reward and celebrate the exceptional work and female talent throughout the business community. This year, Forward Ladies continues to recognise and honour the most respected businesswomen, within a variety of industries.

Discussing her pride in the winners, Forward Ladies Managing Director Griselda Togobo said: “This has been a fantastic year for women, and through our National Awards we are once again delighted to be working in partnership with HSBC to showcase the very best women in business in the UK.  

“The calibre of entries has been increasing year on year, but this year we had a number of outstanding entries and it was a wonderful afternoon of celebration and sharing their remarkable success. The standard of all our shortlisted entries was truly exceptional.”

Jennifer Crawley, Head of UK Performance for HSBC and Chief Awards judge said; “I am always impressed by such talented businesswomen who enter each year – and this year is no different. They play a significant part in the UK economy which is recognised by these awards. A very well done to all those who have joined us and provided such inspiration for other entrepreneurs through their ongoing achievements.”

The eleven category winners will now take part in a judging day in Manchester in November, before a distinguished panel of business leaders, where they will join finalists from regional events in Yorkshire, North East and Scotland; London and the South East; and the North West, Wales and Ireland. The overall national winner will be announced at a grand finale to be held in Leeds on the 1st December.

The keynote speaker was entrepreneur Tricia Cusden, who at the age of 65 spotted a gap in the market for a new approach to cosmetics for older women. In October 2013, Look Fabulous Forever (LFF) was launched. Tricia was the Forward Ladies SME Emerging Businesswoman of the Year 2016.

The Awards were delighted to welcome back HSBC as key sponsor, and are supported by many sector leading businesses including Tastecard and Saville AV.

Bespoke glass trophies were presented to the winners in each category:

 

Corporate Leader Category
Winner: Carol Shanahan – Synectics Solutions

Carol Shanahan founded Synectics Solutions with her husband 25 years ago. Starting with one client in a tiny office the company is now hugely successful. Her determination to build a business which genuinely nurtures its staff, and actively works to make a difference locally, have been two principles constantly championed by Carol.

 

Inspiring Leader Category
Winner: Raj Holness - Breaking the Silence

Raj Holness suffered years of domestic abuse by family and ex-partners. It took her 20 years to break the silence, despite her abusers repeatedly telling her that no one would listen. Thankfully they were wrong. Raj found the courage to speak out and her project, Breaking the Silence, was born.

 

International Category
Winner: Fiona Patterson – Works Psychology Group

Fiona Patterson is a leading expert in assessment, selection and innovation in organisations. Founding Director for Work Psychology Group, an organisational psychology consulting practice located in the UK and Australia, they provide advice to organisations internationally. She is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge.

 

Not for Profit/Social Enterprise of the Year Category
Winner: Veronica Kumeta – Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer

Veronica Kumeta co-founded Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer with the late Sue Macmasters in June 2000, when their mutual friend Carol Knaggs was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Very sadly, 12 months later Sue was also diagnosed with cancer and after losing both of her very dear friends, Veronica was determined to make LFBC the success it is today.

 

Rising Star Category
Winner: Danielle Thompson – Purple Monster

Danielle Thompson is Commercial Director at Purple Monster which came after a leap of faith from the corporate sector to a small creative organisation. Promoted to Director after two years, Danielle has already, and continues to transform the organisation commercially and culturally.

 

SME Emerging Category
Winner: Kim Morgan – Barefoot Coaching

Kim Morgan is the managing director of Barefoot Coaching and has over 25 years’ experience in psychology, people development and coaching. With a career spanning the voluntary sector, therapy and the corporate world, she came to coaching in 2000 and set up one of the UK’s first coach training companies.

Highly Commended:      Tara Tomes – EAST VILLAGE

 

SME Growth Category
Winner: Nicola Millward – The Millward Partnership                     

Nicola Millward is the Managing Director of The Millward Partnership, established by her father in 1993, and fifteen years ago she joined him with a view to one day allowing him to retire.  Six years ago she bought the business and continues its success as a civil & structural engineering consultancy, offering an integrated design solution for a variety of projects and schemes.


Start Up Category
Winner: Rebecca Bidwell – Bidwell Henderson Costs Consultants

Rebecca Bidwell is Director of a Law Costs Drafting Company which is on track to become the largest provider of Legal Aid billing. She has been instrumental in growth of turnover by 432% in three years. Exceptionally motivated, her ambition is proving you can have it all, raise a family and love what you do.

 

STEM Leader Category
Winner: Suzanne Smith – Soteria Asbestos

Suzanne Smith founded multi-award winning Soteria Asbestos as the managing director following redundancy in 2014. She’s also an asbestos consultant, surveyor and trainer. Her determined and passionate entrepreneurial spirit has increased turnover, grown the portfolio of clients and introduced innovative training methods.

 

STEM Rising Star Category
Winner: Jessica Okoro – BeScience

Jessica Okoro founded BeScience STEM after struggling with conventional learning due to dyslexia. However, learning science through hands-on, fun and engaging demonstrations and practical sessions really helped her to change from a student predicted to fail her GCSEs into a graduate in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science.

 

Young Entrepreneur Category
Winner: Victoria Crampton – Create Us Online

Victoria Crampton is the managing director of Create Us Online, a hotel digital marketing agency. With a results focused business strategy, they have a proven record in helping their clients generate more revenue online by encouraging guests to book direct and on average clients see a 25% incremental uplift in revenue within the first 6 months.

 


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