Cumbria’s businesswomen are not letting the grass grow under their feet! After a record 31 local businesswomen reached the finals of the 2019 Enterprise Vision Awards, EVA Fever grew as #TeamCumbria finalists dominated the media.
Flying the flag for the county, the battle was intense as five Cumbrian winners were announced. Izzy Arrieta of Dean Taylor Bathrooms (Small Business), Amy Bateman of Amy Bateman Photography (Solo Business), Victoria Stott of Victoria Stott Design (Creative Industry), Kirsty Mackenzie of Lakeland Inns (Hospitality Industry) and Alison Magee-Barker of AJ Lakes Consultancy (Training and Coaching) are now the proud owners of a highly sought after 2019 Enterprise Vision Award.
Michelle Wilkin of Lakeland Retreats (Customer Services) was also Highly Commended for her endeavours.
The EVAS are the largest and most impressive business awards dedicated solely to women outside London. The awards champion women in business and shine a spotlight on their enterprise and innovation. From home workers to CEO’s of multi-national companies, the awards empower women and encourage others to fulfil their aspirations.
The region’s leading ladies lit up Blackpool brighter than the Illuminations as business leaders and influencers gathered to enjoy a spectacular evening hosted by Rosie Dummer of C4’s Extreme Cake Makers at the iconic Empress Ballroom at The Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
Over 650 guests attended the EVAS to recognise the outstanding achievements of women in business in the region. A reception featured a specially created EVAS pink gin cocktail offered guests an opportunity to expand their business and network with like-minded women. Entertainment was provided by The Voice UK’s Hayley and Geno Eccles, a female saxophonist and games courtesy of Odin Events. This was followed by a delicious banquet dinner and a sparkling awards ceremony which honoured these female trailblazers.
To mark the 10th Anniversary of Pink Link, the Pink Link Ambassador programme was introduced. Alison Magee-Barker of AJ Lakes Consultancy was announced as their first Ambassador to honour her commitment to female entrepreneurship in Cumbria.
Coral Horn, Founder of the EVAS and Pink Link Ladies said “Alison has been fundamental in spreading the word about how the EVAS can impact on women in business in Cumbria. From her nomination last year to winning her second EVA this year, Alison has inspired women to get involved and have a go. She has seen for herself the impact that being involved in Pink Link and the EVAS can have on your business and your confidence. She has arranged various events to increase #TeamCumbria’s profile and to maximise the Cumbrian finalists’ EVAS experience including invitations by MPs Tim Farron and Trudy Harrison to the Houses of Parliament and an Afternoon Tea with The High Sheriff of Cumbria, Marcia Reid-Fotheringham.
The EVAS spread an inspirational message that women of all ages can be successful entrepreneurs. Each year, the EVAS gets bigger and better. This year, we’ve cried, laughed and been awestruck by the excellence of these talented women. They made it harder than ever for the judges who were impressed by their passion, determination and zeal.”
The awards were broadcast live enabling friends and family across the world to watch the awards. #EVAS2019 trended as EVA fever lit up social media as the awards were announced.
Heather Waters, Enterprise Manager at NatWest, said: “The EVAS are without question a brilliant way to celebrate the successes and achievements made by women in business from across the North West. The Alison Rose Review into Female Entrepreneurship highlighted the need for relatable role models and NatWest’s continued support of the EVAS as Headline Sponsor for the seventh year, shows that we are committed to resolving this issue by highlighting the great work being done by female entrepreneurs. We congratulate all of the winners and nominees, and hope they had a fantastic night celebrating.”
As the awards drew to a close, one final award was announced. The Outstanding Achievement of the Year Award which was awarded by NatWest was won by Manchester’s Susanna Lawson of OneFile. From launching her business from a bedroom, OneFile now provides eportfolio and learning hub services to the police force, the NHS and colleges and universities across the UK.
Sponsor of the Inspirational Woman category, Jane Maudsley Founder of Little Voices said “We are honoured to sponsor the EVA awards and support female entrepreneurship across the North West. As a national award winning franchise network we attract a lot of women at Little Voices as they feel supported in the education & performing arts industry through franchising. This category was particularly poignant for us as our founder and CEO, Jane Maudsley, won Inspirational Woman in Franchising at the EWIF national awards last year. Women successfully juggle so much as business owners but they are less comfortable shouting about their achievements. The EVAs is an opportunity to celebrate and recognise those women and their businesses and highlight them as role models for the next generation.”