Six Lancashire business women strike gold at the EVAs

Six Lancashire businesswomen struck gold after scooping awards at the highly prestigious 10th Anniversary Enterprise Vision Awards.

There was no doubting who runs the world. The girls were back in town as the awards ceremony which recognises outstanding female entrepreneurship in the North West, sparkled with glitz and glamour.

More than 650 guests turned out to celebrate the EVAs ceremony which took place in the stunning Empress Ballroom at Blackpool Winter Gardens where 19 awards were presented. Hosted by C4’s extreme cake maker, Rosie Dummer, the ceremony fizzed with energy, camaraderie and female empowerment making it a fantastic night to remember. Despite the unprecedented hardships wrought by the pandemic, the winners showed the tenacity and innovation to create a successful business.

Women from all sectors were represented, individuals and companies; from laboratories, estate agents and helicopters to pet care, restaurants and styling products.

Bella Kowalska (Nail Bus), Ruth Poar (Eat My Logo), Leona Marsh (Marsh Mill Interiors), Vinny Scarantino (Chase the Sun), Breda Murphy (Breda Murphy Restaurant) each won a 10th Anniversary Enterprise Vision Award and Gemma Walker (Helispeed) was highly commended.

The winners fought off intense competition from their peers to win the Beauty Industry, Family Business, Creative Industry, Solo Business and Hospitality Industry categories respectively.

Bella Kowalska of the Nail Bus, a mobile nail and beauty salon impressed the judges with her clear business plan for growth, her attention to her carbon footprint and a video presentation that fully explained the business.

Liz Beavis, Managing Director of FMB, sponsor of the Beauty Industry Award said “It’s fantastic to recognise the contribution female entrepreneurs have made to the UK economy! From pivoting their businesses, keeping on top of rules, ensuring employees are safe, home-schooling, looking after the vulnerable and supporting their communities; these women have been amazing!”

When the pandemic hit, Breda Murphy of Food by Breda pivoted her business from a solo culinary establishment to six business entities under one roof. Launching a delicious range of nationwide delivery service of ready meals was a gamechanger and helped her to reach a wider audience.

Previous EVAs Hospitality Industry winner and sponsor of this award in 2021, Kirsty Ridge of Lakeland Inns said that since winning her award she has seen a 400% business growth, expanded from 3 pub locations to 9, increased her staff from 50 to 200+ and launched a new brewery. She said:

“The EVAs aren’t just a pretty glass trophy, they acknowledge the determination and hard work of women in business; women who are often juggling their careers with being mums.”

To mark a decade of winning women, the EVAs raised over £9,000 for charity which included giving each of the charity finalists a free ticket to attend the awards. The EVAs were a Foodinate event so for every ticket sold a nourishing hot meal would be donated to a person in need.

NatWest has supported the EVAs as the headline sponsor since 2013. They also sponsor the Outstanding Achievement Award which, this year, was presented to whistle blower and champion of survivors of child sex abuse, Maggie Oliver. Regional Ecosystem Manager for the North West, Heather Waters said:

“Maggie Oliver is an inspiration to all of us and is great example of someone who has demonstrated resilience and determination in achieving her goals. We are delighted to present her with this award and wish her every success in her future endeavours.”

Coral Horn, founder of the awards and the networking group, Pink Link, said: “In a time like no other, it was exhilarating to see over 1,150 nominations and 640 entrants. The pandemic wreaked havoc for women in business but these ladies are simply superb and fully deserve to be recognised for their achievements.”

For more information, contact Coral Horn at www.enterprisevisionawards.co.uk

10th Anniversary Enterprise Vision Awards Winners

Beauty Business Bella Kowalska - The Nail Bus (Poulton Le Fylde)

Family Business Ruth Poar - Eat My Logo (Chorley)

Creative Industry Leona Marsh - Marsh Mill Interiors (Preston)

Solo Business Vinny Scarantino - Chase the Sun (Preston)

Hospitality Breda Murphy - Breda Murphy Restaurant (Whalley)

Retail Business Rebecca McCann - ProBlo (Heswall)

Business Woman Dr Natalie Kenny, BioGrad Group (Liverpool)

Charity Debbie Rogers - Sean’s Place (Liverpool)

Customer Services Victoria Corcoran - Pets Country Manor (Liverpool)

New Business Elissa Corrigan - Elle Sera (Liverpool)

Employee Charlotte Hargan - Lakeland Inns Group (Ulverston)

Professional Services Angela Horn - THW Estate Agents (Kendal)

Young Entrepreneur Emma Lea Dalton - My Kind of Clean (Kirkby-in-Furness)

Inspirational Woman Rachel Holliday - TCC West Cumbria (Whitehaven)

Health & Wellbeing Caroline Heaton - Strawberry Rose Farm (Wigan)

Internet Industry Sara Jones - Centre of Excellence (Manchester)

Small Business Delight Mapasure - K's Wors (Manchester)

Training & Coaching Olive Strachan - O.S. Resources (Urmston)

Outstanding Achievement Maggie Oliver - The Maggie Oliver Foundation (Altrincham)                                                                                                                             

Highly Commended

Charity Andrea Pankiw - Phoenix Foundation (Liverpool)

Business Woman Gemma Walker – Helispeed (Blackpool)