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Submit your nominations for the 2017 Enterprise Vision Awards

PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 April 2017

2016 EVA winners

2016 EVA winners

Michael A. Sewell

The search is on for the region’s most successful female entrepreneurs in a competition supported by Lancashire Life

Lisa Jackson, left, is a two-time award winner and will speak at the Cumbria RoadshowLisa Jackson, left, is a two-time award winner and will speak at the Cumbria Roadshow

AN awards ceremony that shines the light on women in business has returned for a seventh straight year.

The ever-popular Enterprise Vision Awards (EVA), which highlights and recognises women in business, will be held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Friday, September 29th and Lancashire Life is delighted to once again be the proud media partner.

More than 600 guests are expected to attend the event as women from across the North West will battle it out to scoop one of the most coveted female business awards.

Organiser of the awards and owner of the Pink Link Ladies Networking Group, Coral Horn, said: ‘We’ve already received a number of nominations from previous and new entrants which really highlights the esteem in which the awards are held as they go from strength to strength each year.

Lisa Jackson, left, is a two-time award winner and will speak at the Cumbria RoadshowLisa Jackson, left, is a two-time award winner and will speak at the Cumbria Roadshow

‘Last year’s awards were certainly the biggest to date but already we have plans to make 2017 even bigger; and the calibre of entries we are already seeing come through are highlighting that it is without doubt going to be just as difficult for our judges.’

As the launch phase of the EVA is now in full flow, Lancashire Life caught up with three previous winners who spoke about their impressive wins over the years.

Sarah Southworth, owner of Preston-based SCS Facility Services, was the winner of the 2012 Business Woman award and now sponsors the EVAs. ‘Somebody nominated me and it really was a nice surprise to find out,’ she said.

‘After I won, I wanted to stay involved and help promote the awards, that’s why I became a sponsor. The awards are going from strength to strength and I’d encourage people to nominate themselves or others.

‘It was great for our clients to see that we are award-winning. After all the years I’ve been involved in the cleaning industry it was great to be recognised.’

After receiving rave reviews, returning for the second straight year as MC will be Rebecca Jane. Rebecca is the owner of a successful all-female private investigation company, which was set up in 2009. Also confirmed for the evening is Patrick McBride, the current Milk Tray Man. Patrick will be the official EVA escort as he will accompany the winners to the stage.

Lisa Jackson, owner of Cumbrian-based Acorn Marketing is no stranger to that stage having scooped the Sole Trader of the Year award in 2015 and Solo Business of the Year in 2016. She said: ‘The EVA is a great event to attend. I was shocked to see how many people were there.

‘I never thought I’d win with people there from Liverpool and Manchester, then I did! It was such a shock. The second time, I had to change my business. My daughter, April, was born prematurely just after the first awards, so for the second awards, I think the judges realised the hard work that was put in both running a business and having a young child.

‘I’m speaking at the Cumbrian Roadshow so hopefully I’ll be able to inspire other women to enter the awards.’

Julie Ryder, of Hear First, was the proud winner of the 2013 Training Award and it helped to boost her business. ‘We entered the awards ourselves, I actually entered the previous year and I was shortlisted.

‘You have to prove to the judges that your business has moved forward and it was really nice to win second time around. It reinforced the business giving you increased credibility with both old and new clients. Winning an EVA really does give you such a big boost.’

Continually growing each year, the EVA has attracted NatWest as a headline sponsor for the fifth consecutive year and a number of roadshows will also take place offering hints, tips and advice about entering the awards.

Heather Waters, territory enterprise manager at NatWest, said: ‘Each year we are seeing the awards grow and become even more popular and we are proud to be involved in an event that supports and celebrates not only enterprise but successful and powerful women in various industries.

‘They are exciting awards to be a part of, no matter what size your business is, and we look forward to welcoming entries from a range of business women across the region.’

The awards are now open for entries and nominations. Those looking to enter can find out more at the free EVA launch events. More information is also available at www.enterprisevisionawards.co.uk

Entries will close on Monday, June 12th and the winners will be announced at a black-tie ceremony on Friday, 29th September 2017 at Blackpool Winter Gardens.

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