The search is now on for the most successful female entrepreneurs in the region with the launch of the North East Business Woman of the Year Awards (WIN Awards) at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.

Now in its 19th year these awards are an annual celebration of great success by businesswomen in the North East in a wide range of sectors.

Nickie Gott, Chair of event organisers WIN Ltd, and Chair of the North East England Chamber of Commerce Women’s Advisory Board, said: “These awards promote and reward achievements for hard work over the past 12 months.  It enables all the winners to showcase their expertise to their contemporaries and the rest of the business community.”

Speaking at the launch was Jacqueline Gallazzi-Ritchie of All England Gas Services, who won the best small business and the overall Susan Dobson Memorial Award last year. She said: “The award meant such a lot to me after all the hard work my team and I have done over the past few years.  It is a great testament to our tenacity and real desire to succeed, in what is still a pretty male-dominated industry sector.  I was very humbled as well as honoured to be in the company of the finalists, who were all great examples of inspiring businesswomen.”

Two other winners also attended the launch to encourage women to enter, Laura Leigh Weighman, Childs Play Private Nursery, who is sponsoring the Heart of the Community award, which she won in 2017 and winner of the Best Creative Business, Amy Jackson from Unwritten Creative.

The awards are also supported by Nat West and the Tees Valley Combined Authority and there are further sponsorship opportunities available.

Further information is available on the WIN website ( and the closing date is Friday 28 July, with the announcement of shortlist winners in September, and the awards ceremony on 27 October at the Hilton, Gateshead.