North West businesswomen celebrated at awards

The Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards 2016, sponsored by HSBC, has celebrated businesswomen in the North West.

The regional final was held at a celebration lunch at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Manchester. Winners will now go on to the grand national finals, which will be held on December 1.

Deborah Smith (pictured centre), managing director of Fennel UK in Colne, which designs, manufactures and supplies quality door handles, catches, kitchen cabinet legs and tambour doors, won the SME (emerging) category award.

The keynote speaker at the event was Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Black’s chocolate.

Griselda Togobo, managing director of Forward Ladies, said: “This has been a fantastic year for women; we continue to start, grow and run high profile successful companies. We have been surprised and delighted by the number and calibre and diversity of the applications we have received for the Women in Business Awards 2016, and look forward to celebrating their success.

“The award categories are a reflection not only of the types of businesses with which women are involved but also industries which need to attract and encourage young women to join for future growth and prosperity.

All of the award winners
All of the award winners

Debra White, customer experience director for business banking for HSBC and awards judge, said: “There was an impressive number of high-calibre entries this year, highlighting the quality of talented businesswomen we have in the UK. These entrants are the future entrepreneurs of our country, with the Forward Ladies event showcasing the best Britain has to offer. HSBC will be providing support to help these businesses prosper and thrive in the long term.”

The other winners were:

  • Inspiring leader award – Brigit Egan, MD at Oakridge Consulting, Manchester
  • Digital business woman award – Jo Burmester, global operations director of PharmaSchool in Cheshire
  • Not for profit category – Hannah Broughton, MD at Twinkleboost CIC, Bury
  • Rising star award – Josie Linsel, president, director and chair of trustees at the University of Central Lancashire Students’ Union in Preston
  • SME (growth) category – Rachel Ray, founder of Bright and Beautiful, Altrincham
  • Start-up category – Judith Wren, MD or Trolle Trading Limited, Ulverston
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) category – Natasja Kashyap, principle dentist and co-owner with her husband
  • Young entrepreneur – Louise Fitzsimmons, director and owner of White Wolf Yoga & Kitchen, Liverpool
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