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2015 Enterprise Vision Awards, Blackpool Winter Gardens

PUBLISHED: 14:11 22 October 2015 | UPDATED: 14:11 22 October 2015

A fun-packed evening at the EVAs

A fun-packed evening at the EVAs

not Archant

The enterprise of women from across the region was celebrated at a glittering ceremony in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

The success of business women across the north west was celebrated in style at the Enterprise Vision Awards, a glittering event in Blackpool Winter Gardens. This annual contest attracted a record number of entries to a competition which is now one of the most hotly-contested in the region.

Hundreds of successful businesses entered and each had to produce a written application before making a presentation in front of a panel of judges. The winners, selected in an open vote, were revealed in front of 600 guests at a fun-packed presentation evening attended by Lancashire Life, one of the EVA supporters.

One of the most poignant moments was when the Inspirational Woman of the Year award went to Jen Blackwell, of Chorley, who founded DanceSyndrome with her mum, Sue, who lives in Clitheroe.

Jen, who is 33 and has Down’s Syndrome, was nominated by colleagues at the dance charity she founded with support from her mum in 2009. DanceSyndrome provides opportunities for people with learning disabilities to lead their own dance workshops.

Claire Young, entrepreneur and finalist on The Apprentice, was host and compère for the awards evening. She said: ‘The atmosphere in the room was incredible.

‘It was humbling, and rewarding, for me to play a part in the evening help celebrating everyone’s success. As an ambassador for women in business, I am very passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and enterprise so it was a great honour to meet so many women who exude these qualities, particularly those in the younger generation.

‘They were all such well-deserving winners - just to see the calibre of finalists meant that it was a huge achievement for each of the winners to shine that little bit brighter.’

The awards were sponsored by NatWest for the third year, and Heather Waters, territory enterprise manager for the bank said: ‘We are very proud to come back for a third year to the EVAs and be the headline sponsor. Supporting women in business is something that NatWest strongly believes in and the EVAs is an excellent platform for showcasing what fantastic work is being done by women in business.

‘As always, the judging process was very difficult and the number of high calibre entries this year has been the best that we have seen. We look forward to celebrating with all the winners and want to take this opportunity to congratulate all finalists too.’

The Enterprise Vision Awards were launched in 2011 by Coral Horn, founder of the Pink Link Ladies networking group. She said: ‘Throughout my years of working with women in business, I have found they have a tendency to overlook their achievements in favour of simply getting on with the job in hand.

‘It’s only when they take a step back and reflect, do they realise just how successful they are. The awards were launched in a bid to combat this and really start celebrating those women who are making an enormous contribution to our economy and providing employment across the north west.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to also thank NatWest who share this ethos and are returning as our headline sponsor for the third year running.’

Roll of honour - the winners

New Business of the Year - Jo Thomas, Alice’s Tearoom. St Annes

Sole Trader of the Year - Lisa Jackson, Acorn Marketing, Penrith

Small Business of the Year - Beverley Wood, Beverley Wood Design Ltd, Lytham St Annes

Training & Coaching Business of the Year - Rachel Haslam, Team Academy, Manchester & Leyland

Professional Services Business of the Year - Angela Kelly, freelance journalist and media consultant, Bolton

Financial Services Business of the Year - Jackie Hyde, Stanmore Insurance Brokers, Bolton

Hospitality Business of the Year - Alison Brown, The Glass House, Ribchester

Beauty Business of the Year - Jenny Bird, Jenny Bird Holistic Beauty Therapy, Tarleton

Creative Business of the Year - Alison Tordoff, Fidget Design, Bowness

Health & Fitness Business of the Year - Ruth Hoyle, Exercise Angels, Chorley

Customer Services Business of the Year - Victoria Corcoran, The Pets Country Manor, Prescot

Online Business of the Year - Roseanna Sunley, E-Dressage Ltd, Crewe

Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Katie Robinson, Made In Flowers, Kendal

Business Woman of the Year - Holly Moore, Make Events, Wilmslow

Inspirational Woman of the Year - Sue and Jen Blackwell, DanceSyndrome, Chorley

NW Networker of the Year - Kristen Durose, Red Star Wealth Management, Blackpool

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