Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 16.52.07FRIDAY 12 June 2015 will see the launch of the 16th annual North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, the region’s premier award event showcasing the achievements of women in business.

The awards will be launched as part of the North East Chamber of Commerce’s (NECC) Inspiring Females Conference, which will be held tomorrow (Friday 12 June) at the Newcastle Gateshead Marriott Hotel.

Last year, the annual event organised by the Women’s Advisory Board and chaired by Women Into the Network (WIN), saw the likes of Judith Moran (Bishop Auckland-based Learning Curve Group), win the Susan Dobson Award for Entrepreneurship, Alice Blackie (Pink Boutique Ltd) scooping the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and Angela Sterling (Lingotot) winning Best Home Based Business.

After an extremely successful year in 2014, new categories have been added to the agenda. This year’s 12 categories are:

  • The Susan Dobson Award for Entrepreneurship
  • Best New Business Award
  • Best Small Business Award
  • Best Creative Business Award
  • Best Home-Based Business Award
  • Best Use of Innovation
  • Heart Of The Community Award
  • STEM Award
  • Apprenticeship Award
  • Service Award
  • Leadership Award
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award

WIN Chairperson Nickie Gott said: “These awards really help showcase our regions inspiration business women and ensure the good work of our talented North East businesswomen does not go unnoticed. We want to champion female enterprise, celebrate success and recognise those leading lights in our region.

“This year to further broaden the reach we have opened the awards up with new categories but also encouraging not just women business owners to enter.  We want to celebrate female leadership and role models across all sectors and levels.  Therefore we have six awards for female entrepreneurs and six that are open to all business women in our region.  We have also introduced new categories to raise the profile of skill sets that we really do need to encourage more girls and women to consider.  The new categories include Leadership, Women in STEM, Best Use on Innovation, Service, Heart of the Community and Best Apprentice.

“The ceremony, this year, is on Friday 13th November and the theme is Lucky For Some, therefore I urge any woman involved in business, to enter the awards and make their own luck. It’s not only a fabulous night, but also a fantastic opportunity to network and be inspired by the accomplishments of others and share your own triumphs and experience.”

The awards will also be supported by the North East Chamber of Commerce, of which the Woman’s Advisory Board is part.

NECC director of policy Ross Smith said: “Women in business is a fundamental element to growing the success of our region. Women have different skills and with tailored business support, targeted advice programmes and focused efforts to reduce youth unemployment among females, more women can get a foot on the career ladder and help drive North East business forward.

“Many vital industries for the North East face serious skills shortages in the years ahead and within these industries there has been significant under-representation of women in the workforce. Growth opportunities could be missed if the gender imbalance is not tackled.

“It has been shown that businesses making the most of female talent perform better. We want businesses in the North East to be globally competitive, and that is why the WIN Awards are so important. They celebrate and inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs.”

Applications will be available to download on the WIN website from 5pm on Friday 12 June and will close Friday 4 September 2015.

Award winners will be announced on Saturday 15 November 2015. Entries cost £20 + VAT per category and up to three categories may be entered. To enter or learn more about the awards, please visit: www.winawards.co.uk or contact Ken Wallace at She’s Gott It! on 0191 385 6619, e-mail:ken@shesgottit.com