Female business-leaders recognised as Women’s Enterprise Scotland Awards 2022 shortlist revealed

Female business-leaders have been recognised in the shortlist for the Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) Awards 2022, comprising 47 finalists across ten categories, following an “unprecedented” number of entries.

WES says the list features names from across Scotland, with categories for firms including Start-up Business of the Year, Outstanding Business of the Year, and Net-Zero Business of the Year.

Also among the categories is Inspiring Leader of the Year, whose contenders comprise Rachael Brown of Future Economy Company, Allison Harrison of Hot Yoga Edinburgh, Poonam Gupta of PG Paper Company, Dr Marie Macklin of The Halo Urban Regeneration Company, and Gillian Crawford of Wow (Scotland).

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Ms Crawford, who is also a contender in the Embracing Technology category via Wow (Scotland), said: “Our whole team is absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted… Having transitioned my jewellery brand Lily Blanche from a traditional [business-to-consumer] company to a pure-play ecommerce business, I am enthusiastic about the benefits of embracing ecommerce to close the gender enterprise gap.”

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The Awards are being supported by Business Gateway, Royal Bank of Scotland, HFL Holistic Financial Leadership, British Business Bank and Scottish Enterprise, and the winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony in the Voco Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on Thursday October 27.

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Carolyn Currie, chief executive of WES, commented: “Our last Awards were in 2019, so it is especially important for us to be back in 2022, recognising the impressive achievements of Scotland’s businesswomen.

"Even more so as WES is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Many women-led businesses have adapted or sourced new means of funding during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and, as such, they are powerful role models for other women who want to start and grow businesses.

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'Our last Awards were in 2019, so it is especially important for us to be back in 2022,' says WES CEO Carolyn Currie. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane Photography.

“Both the volume and the calibre of entries for the Awards were exceptionally high and the judging panel had a very challenging task to compile the list of finalists. We are looking forward to a fantastic Awards evening next month, when we can shine a spotlight on the myriad of impressive women-led businesses across Scotland.”

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WES recently called for an acceleration of efforts to release untapped female economic potential after it hosted a conference in which an entrepreneurship expert raised concerns about initiatives that are not far-reaching enough.

The full shortlist is as follows:

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Start-up Business of the Year, sponsored by Business Gateway

Agate Kuzmina – AKCC Co

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Daria Filichkina – AstroAgency

Tiffany Wood – Dyneval

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Clara Doran – Noggin Braincare

Sophie Downes – Sophie Downes

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Growth Business of the Year, sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland

Lesley Fordyce – AAB Consulting

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Claire Donnelly – Aspire Industrial Services

Jaclyn Robinson – Jaclyn Robinson Property Solutions

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Poonam Gupta – PG Paper Company

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Outstanding Business of the Year, sponsored by HFL Holistic Financial Leadership

Karen Somerville – Angels’ Share Glass

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Emma Reid – Ergo Law

Jennifer Mackenzie – The TEFL Org

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Jennifer Robertson – Spey

Inspiring Leader of the Year

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Rachael Brown – Future Economy Company

Allison Harrison – Hot Yoga Edinburgh

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Poonam Gupta – PG Paper Company

Dr Marie Macklin – The Halo Urban Regeneration Company

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Gillian Crawford – Wow (Scotland)

Funded Business of the Year, sponsored by British Business Bank

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Jo Chidley – Beauty Kitchen UK

Claudia Freigang – Hearing Diagnostics

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Carmel Reilly – Neurocentrx Pharma

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Adaptive Business of the Year

Rachael Brown – Future Economy Company

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Allison Harrison – Hot Yoga Edinburgh

Juliet Ibhanesebhor – Sap-kreations

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Anna White – ScotlandShop

Ruby Sweeney – The Events Hub

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Susan Cohen – The Wee Book Company

Embracing Technology Business of the Year, sponsored by HFL Holistic Financial Leadership

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Lesley Landels – Love Scottish

Fiona Chambers – SV24-7 Vending

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Dr Mhairi Towler – Vivomotion

Gillian Crawford – Wow (Scotland)

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Net-Zero Business of the Year, sponsored by Scottish Enterprise

Jo Chidley – Beauty Kitchen UK

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Jeanette Forbes – Blue Gentoo

Jane Stewart – Topolytics

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Kristen Hunter – Whisky Frames

Collaborative Champion of the Year

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Karen Somerville – Angels’ Share Glass

Kirsteen Stewart – Kirsteen Stewart

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Christine Esson – Scottish Business Network

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Purpose-Led Business of the Year

Kerry Anderson – Brave Strong Beautiful

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Kirsty Thomson – Circle Scotland CIC (The Circle)

Kirsty Lunn – Molke

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Pheona Matovu – Radiant and Brighter Community Interest Company

Rowan Morrison – Rationale

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Susan Cohen – The Wee Book Company