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Yorkshire’s leading female trailblazers invited to enter 2013 Natwest everywoman awards

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The UK’s longest-running programme for championing female enterprise, the NatWest everywoman Awards is welcoming entries for 2013.

These awards, in their eleventh year, differentiate themselves by recognising business success at every stage of maturity – from embryonic start-ups demonstrating promise to established enterprises that are making a significant contribution to the British economy.

The search is now on to find the female entrepreneurs who will join the ranks of past winners; Chrissie Rucker MBE, Jo Malone MBE, Cath Kidston MBE, Hilary Devey and Dame Mary Perkins as well as the dozens of other women of all ages, household names of tomorrow, who are leading successful businesses the length and breadth of the country.

The number of people setting up their own businesses has jumped by 367,000 since the start of the downturn  in 2008*, demonstrating how while necessity may be the mother of invention, a recession can be the mother of innovation. Every year, these awards demonstrate how women from all backgrounds are turning to entrepreneurship to realise their career ambitions. The NatWest everywoman awards raise the profile of pioneering, innovative, inspiring women whose journeys serve to encourage others to join the existing 4.2 million business owners in the UK.

The NatWest everywoman Awards are free to enter and individuals can be nominated or can enter themselves.  The core award categories are:

Artemis – given to the most inspirational woman running a business who is aged 25 or under.

Demeter – awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business who is aged between 26 and 35.

Athena – presented to the most inspirational woman running a business who is aged between 36 and 49.

Hera – for the most inspirational woman running a business who is aged 50 or over.

Specialist categories include:

Iris – presented to the most inspirational and successful female entrepreneur who runs a technology business that makes a difference provides real solutions in the world today and, ultimately, is instrumental in building a smarter planet.

Hestia – for the most inspirational and successful female entrepreneur who runs a business in a remote rural location and makes a contribution to the local community.

Gaia – awarded to the most inspirational and successful female entrepreneur who runs a business with a clearly defined social and/or ethical purpose at its heart.

Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder and director of everywoman said:

These awards recognise that starting and building a successful enterprise does not come with an instruction manual. We understand that business success is driven by women of all ages, from all backgrounds, across industry sectors. Over the years we have recognised hundreds of women who exhibit diverse skills and characteristics that have helped them succeed.

Enterprise has never been more popular, and it is encouraging that so many more women are pursuing this route. We want to search out and identify the country’s hidden female entrepreneurs, whether they are just a year into their journey or are growing an established business turning over millions of pounds. By spreading the word about the triumphs of these trailblazing women, others will appreciate how rewarding owning a business can be, and have the confidence to follow in their footsteps.

Anne McPherson, Managing Director, Diversity in Business at NatWest said:

We are delighted to support the NatWest everywoman awards for the 11th year running. Over the years the awards have been a great encouragement to female entrepreneurs and have showcased some fantastic role models. At NatWest we have certainly seen an upturn in women owned businesses in the past few years and we are committed to encouraging more women to start up in business.

To support this, we have a network of over 130 externally accredited Women in Business Specialist Relationship Managers across the country who share and understand our customer and ambitions and provide coaching, networking and mentoring opportunities to help them fulfil their potential and build successful businesses.

Nominations are made online at http://www.everywoman.com/ewawards until 8 July and will be judged by a panel of accomplished businesswomen and entrepreneurs.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony held on 4 December 2013 attended by hundreds of the UK’s leading businesswomen, politicians, media and VIPS. For further information and for table bookings, please contact everywoman directly on 020 7981 2574.

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