When it comes to British women and enterprise - the shoe fits
Make Your Mark and Handbag.com join forces to recognise Britain’s best female entrepreneurs
A survey released today to launch the Girls! Make Your Mark Awards has shown that, when it comes to owning a business, British women aspire to walk in Tamara Mellon’s Jimmy Choos, running her shoe empire. However, although many are envious of Victoria Beckham’s husband, the same can’t be said of her business empire with only 2% wishing to take the helm of her venture.
The results released today mark the launch of the Girls! Make Your Mark Awards, an initiative established by Make Your Mark and Handbag.com, designed to celebrate Britain’s female entrepreneurs and encourage more to take the plunge. With 74% of women believing that being a female entrepreneur is a desirable career the hope is that the awards will motivate more women to follow their dreams.
Interestingly three quarters of women believe that their female attributes, including intuition and guile, would give them the edge over their male counterparts in the business arena.
A panel of prominent businesswomen including Jacqueline Gold, Head of Anne Summers, Carrie Grant, Vocal Coach to the stars, and Natasha Aitken, Editor of Handbag.com, will help judge five exciting award categories:
Female Entrepreneur of the Year
Entrepreneurs with a Conscience
The Pioneer (for businesses less than 12 months old or an enterprising idea)
Handbags and Gladrags
People’s Choice (as voted for by handbag.com readers)
Natasha Aitken, editor of Handbag.com says being the head of their own business is a growing aspiration among British women: “We receive an overwhelming response from readers when we support successful businesswomen on our site. It sparks great debate in our forums, with women talking about their experiences, dreams and fears about setting up their own ventures.”
A host of some of the most influential women in business today are also lending their support and expertise to this inspirational initiative including fashionista Savannah Miller and designer Pearl Lowe who commented:
"I think the Girls! Make Your Mark Awards will help provide a fabulous arena to showcase the brilliant efforts of female entrepreneurs in the UK today. I know from personal experience that it can be challenging running a start up business, whilst juggling other aspects of your life, this is why I feel it is important to support and help champion females who have gone it alone and are realising their dreams."
As well as giving winners the recognition and spotlight they rightly deserve there are some fantastic prizes for the successful entrants including money-can’t-buy mentoring and advice.
The awards are open to entries until 21st July and those short-listed will attend a glamorous awards ceremony in September. For more information and to enter please visit www.handbag.com
Notes to Editors
Make Your Mark is the national campaign to unlock the UK’s enterprise potential. It aims to inspire people to have ideas and make them happen. The not-for-profit campaign is backed by an unprecedented coalition of businesses, charities, education bodies and government.
It was founded by the four leading UK business membership organisations – the British Chambers of Commerce, the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors. Their Director Generals sit on Make Your Mark’s board. It is also supported by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and is endorsed by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
National organisations working closely with the campaign include:
Arts Council England – Association of Colleges – Black Training and Enterprise Group – Business in the Community – Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform – Department for Children, Schools and Families - Enterprise Education Trust - Learning and Skills Council – National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship - National Education Business Partnership Network – National Federation of Enterprise Agencies – Prowess – Quality Improvement Agency – Scottish Government – South-East England Development Agency (representing Regional Development Agencies) – Shell LiveWIRE – Social Enterprise Coalition – Specialist Schools and Academies Trust – The Prince’s Trust – UnLtd – Young Enterprise