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Bristol and Bath Women in Business Awards: The finalists revealed

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Written by: Gavin Thompson | Posted 10 February 2016 15:00

Bristol and Bath Women in Business Awards: The finalists revealed
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Judging the Bristol and Bath Women in Business Awards was a tough task..., today we reveal the 2016 finalists

Woman of the Year sponsored by Mentor Training

Lucy Ackland, Renishaw PLC

@LucyAckland
Bristol
Lucy went against her school’s advice to join Rensihaw as an apprentice aged 16. She has since become a passionate advocate of women in engineering and STEM subjects, dedicating her personal time to giving talks, running workshops and more to give girls the confidence to pursue further study and a career in engineering.

Mel Bound, This Mum Runs

@thismumruns
Bristol
Mel launched This Mum Runs as a community Facebook group in late 2014 encouraging mums to get back into fitness. In 2015 she turned it into a growing business, with more than 1,300 members in Bristol alone.

Angela Hicks, North Somerset Enterprise Agency & The Hive

@NESAtweets
Weston-super-Mare
Angela has overseen North Somerset Enterprise Agency’s involvement in more than 3,500 business start ups across more than two decades. She drove the creative of the Hive business centre in Weston-super-Mare.

Margaret Hook Banwell Village Pharmacy Ltd

Banwell, North Somerset
Margaret has been a pharmacist for 36 years and is devoted to patient care. She has run Banwell Pharmacy since 1997 and has done ground-breaking work identifying early signs of dementia and kidney damage in her customers.

Vashti Seth, Deki

@VashtiSeth
Bristol
Vashti launched Deki in 2008 using a £2,000 inheritance and a note telling her to “do something good”. The charity is a person-to-person microloan platform where people can support others to get out of poverty. So far is has provided £650,000 in loans from 3,500 lenders to entrepreneurs in South Sudan, Ghana, South Africa and Malawi.

Young Entrepreneur

Bristol and Bath Women in Business Young Entrepreneur finalists

Samantha Payne, Open Bionics

@SighSam
Bristol
Open Bionics is developing affordable limbs for amputees using new technologies such as 3D scanning and printing. Samantha created a Swarovski crystal encrusted bionic hand, changing perceptions about prosthetics, and struck a deal with Disney for a royalty free licence to create Star Wars and Marvel hands for children.

Anna Pepler, The HR Dept (Bristol)

Bristol
Anna has become managing director of the HR Dept in Bristol aged 28. She has been largely responsible for a 50 per cent rise in profits in the last 12 months and has become an established figure in her industry.

 Vashti Seth, Deki

@VashtiSeth
Bristol
Vashti launched Deki in 2008 using a £2,000 inheritance and a note telling her to “do something good”. The charity is a person-to-person microloan platform where people can support others to get out of poverty. So far is has provided £650,000 in loans from 3,500 lenders to entrepreneurs in South Sudan, Ghana, South Africa and Malawi.

Mentor of the Year

Alice Chapman, Practice

Bristol
Alice mentors, coaches and trains leaders of scale-up businesses. Her clients described her work as “transformational” and triggering “lightbulb moments”.

Inge Dowden, Inge Dowden Coaching

@IngeDowden
Bristol
Inge helps people to be happy and successful at work through career coaching and published the book The Happy Worker: How to find a job you love and love the job you have in 2015.

Nicky Marshall Discover your Bounce Ltd

@Bounce2Success
Bristol
Nicky’s Discover Your Bounce programme aims to increase health and happiness for individuals and businesses. She describes herself as a “cheerleader and accountability partner”.


Female Apprentice of the Year

Malgorzata Barzowska Airbus Operations Ltd

Bristol
Malgorzata has balanced working for Airbus with studying in higher education and aspires to become a STEM ambassador. She has played a part in the decision making process for a winglet joint for the A330neo plane.

Alice Gregory, GKN Aerospace, Bristol

Alice says she wants to inspire others and her apprenticeship at GKN has given her opportunities to do just that. She has promoted STEM subjects on school visits and even in the Houses of Parliament. Her work on control of documentation during manufacturing processes resulted in a change in how things were done.

Ruby Mitchell Jeff Way Electrical Services

South Bristol
After a few uncertain years, Ruby took on an apprenticeship with Jeff Way and has looked back since. Sje works on new build housing sites learning the electrical trade. Ruby has become an ambassador for a trade body’s Jobs For The Girls campaign

Award for Innovation sponsored by Spire The Glen Hospital, Bristol

Purpol Marketing Ltd

Chippenham, Wiltshire
@PurpolMarketing
Purpol is a home-based marketing business set up by Denise O’Leary in 2014 working in the construction sector. It has found a niche helping SMEs navigate tenders for public sector contracts. Denise has become a champion of SMEs in this area, even lobbying at No 10 Downing Street.

RunAClub

@SallyHigham
Wiltshire
Sally Higham’s Runaclub helps community projects, clubs and groups to thrive, offering a bespoke but scalable online toolkit that helps them build a simple, editable website, keep accurate records and communicate with members.

TrueStart Coffee 

Bristol
@TrueStartCoffee
TrueStart, co-founded by Helena Hills, is the world’s first and only naturally controlled caffeine coffee, providing an alternative to sugary energy drinks for sport performance. The product is already stocked in Tesco and some health food stores.

New Business of the Year

Carolyne Crowe Coaching

@CroweCarolyne
South Gloucestershire
Carolyne provides coaching, mentoring and training in the veterinary industry, a sector prone to high rates of suicide due to the high pressure environment. As experience veterinary surgeon, she set up her new business after 10 of her friends or colleagues had taken their own lives over a number of years.

Gradient DM

Bristol
@GradientDM
Dr Cezara Nanu’s company is using data to help close the gender pay gap. It has developed a tool to help companies calculate the gender pay gap within their own organisation, something all firms with more than 250 employees will have to publish. In the UK the gender pay gap is 19 per cent.

Purpol Marketing

Chippenham, Wiltshire
@PurpolMarketing 
Purpol is a home-based marketing business set up by Denise O’Leary in 2014 working in the construction sector. It has found a niche helping SMEs navigate tenders for public sector contracts. Denise has become a champion of SMEs in this area, even lobbying at No 10 Downing Street.

Business of the Year sponsored by Close Brothers Asset Management

Blue Badge Company

Bristol
@BlueBadgeCo
The manufacturer of attractive disabled living aids, such as Blue Badge wallets, has grown to employ a 16-strong workforce and has sold 130,000 of its wallets across the UK. It has signed deals with Boots, Argos, Halfords and the Post Office and saw sales rocket after managing director Ellen Green appeared on Dragon’s Den last year.

Dittrich Hudson Vasetti Architects

Bristol
@DHVArch
A design-led architectural practice run by Elke Dittrich and Federica Vasetti specialising in residential, mixed-use and educational projects. The company was founded in 2012 and has increased turnover five fold since year one and won industry plaudits.

The HR Dept (Bristol) Ltd

@TheHRDept
Henfield, South Gloucestershire
The HR Dept provides small and medium sized businesses with locally based, personal HR advice and support. It employs 15 people here and has enjoyed strong increases in turnover and profit in the last three years.

Contribution to the Community sponsored by the Mall, Cribbs Causeway

Zoe Colosimo, Neighbourly

@ZoeColosimo
Bristol
Zoe is chief operating officer at Neighbourly.com, a online social platform that connects community projects with people and companies that want to help. Zoe was responsible for launching or managing campaigns including Marks & Spencer’s Spark Something Good and Starbucks’ Red Cup Cheer, as well as the Neighbourly Food platform looking to help eliminate food waste from the retail sector.

Caroline Duckworth, Society of Merchant Venturers

Bristol
Treasurer and de facto the CEO of the Society of Merchant Venturers, the first women to lead the organisation, which invests energy and time supporting enterprise, education and care for the elderly. She is a former chief executive of the Quartet Community Foundation which helps to give out money to causes supporting the vulnerable in the West of England.

Layla Ismail, Refugee Women of Bristol

@laylaIsmail2
Layla has campaigned for the rights and wellbeing of women and girls affected by female genital mutilation. She is manager of Refugee Women of Bristol and has built a successful multi-agency partnership with communities.

Jana Novotna, Everyone Active

Bristol
Jana has worked at Horfield Leisure Centre for 10 years helping more than 1,000 people through Active Choices exercise referral scheme. Her customers are filled with praise for Jana, who always has a smile on her face.

Baby Bank Network

Bristol
@BabyBankNetwork
A volunteer-run organisation, Baby Bank Network tackles child poverty and promotes reuse, collecting pre-loved baby essentials and giving them to families in need. Founded in 2015 by Eva Fernandes, Becky Gilbert and Melissa Burgers, it has already helped more than 100 families.

Home Based Business of the Year

Fun Science Ltd

Bath
@FunScienceUK
Fun Science specialises in providing science themed parties, workshops, after school clubs and holiday clubs to children. It was set up by Cressida Bullock using money from her student loan to bring in some income and has grown to have five staff and has started selling franchises.

Purpol Marketing Ltd

Chippenham, Wiltshire
@PurpolMarketing 
Purpol is a home-based marketing business set up by Denise O’Leary in 2014 working in the construction sector. It has found a niche helping SMEs navigate tenders for public sector contracts. Denise has become a champion of SMEs in this area, even lobbying at No 10 Downing Street.

Noya’s kitchen

Bath
@NoyasKitchen
Noya Pawlyn started her business because of her love of food from Vietnam, where she was born but left as a refugee aged seven. She runs supper clubs, lessons and events. Although based at home, the business has grown so much that Noya is now looking for premises.

Award for Outstanding Management & Leadership

Karen Banfield, Echo Managed Services

Bristol
A former nanny, Karen has worked her way up from a contact centre advisor to running the Bristol centre for Echo Managed Services. She has a remarkable retention rate for staff in a high turnover industry and has to manage different contracts which mean growing the team quickly at short notice.

Christine Christodoulou ReThink Recruitment

Christine took over as regional sales manager for the Bristol branch of the company in January 2015 and has since transformed performance, uniting disparate teams, hired more people and secured sign-off to move to bigger premises in 2016 .Staff were so impressed with the turnaround they presented Christine with a scrapbook of thank you notes at the Christmas party.

Helen Tanner, Computershare

Bristol
As marketing director at the financial administration company’s UK head office in Bristol, Helen has led a cultural change programme at the organisation. Her determined approach has engaged staff and helped recruit an additional 90 roles to the business.

Customer Service Award sponsored by GWR

Kirsty Hassan, Colston’s School

Bristol
Kirsty goes the extra mile to help prospective parents who may not have set foot in an independent school before. She has trained staff and led a refresh of the school identity. She impresses visitors with her courtesy and remembers details about people’s lives. Applicants to the school are up as a result.

Margaret Hook Banwell Village Pharmacy

Banwell, North Somerset
Margaret has been a pharmacist for 36 years and is devoted to patient care. She has run Banwell Pharmacy since 1997 and has done ground-breaking work identifying early signs of dementia and kidney damage in her customers.

Theresa Lane, Grosvenor Casino

Bristol
Theresa’s approach as general manager of the Grosvenor Casino in Anchor Road is customer focused. Mystery shopped feedback is positive and changes to the venue have proved popular. In response to customer demand, it is now the only casino in the group which serves Thatcher’s cider on tap!

Outstanding Contribution to Business in Bristol and Bath Award sponsored by UWE Bristol

This special award will be announced at the awards on March 17 at the Bristol City Centre Marriott. Buy tickets online here

 Bristol and Bath Women in Business sponsors

 

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