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South Yorkshire businesswomen honoured in business awards

Pictured are Emma Chidlaw and Hannah Duraid


Two South Yorkshire Business women have been honoured in the regional finals of the national Women in Business Awards 2016, sponsored by HSBC and organised by Forward Ladies.

Emma Chidlaw of won the SME (Growth) Business woman category, while Hannah Duraid won the Young Entrepreneur category. 

Emma is the resources director of Unita Maintain, in Sheffield, which provides specialist cleaning & facilities management including security, handyman, washroom, deep cleaning, waste management, carpet cleaning, and grounds maintenance to some of the UK’s largest abattoirs and meat processing plants.  It is both hard and perceived as ‘dirty work’, but has won new contracts this year from companies such as Morrison’s and Manheim Auctions. 

Hannah Duraid is the CEO of the Great Escape Game, Sheffield’s first live escape room experience. She and her partner opened their first room last year and have recently opened four more, with thousands of visitors passing through their doors in the past 16 months.   

Highly commended acknowledgements went to Toni Anne Sanderson, marketing and operations director at, in the retail category, while Kate Krachai, founder and director of Quality Context was commended in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) category. 

Now in its seventh year, the Awards have grown from being purely regional into one of the most prestigious events in the national calendar for professional women. Forward Ladies, founded in 1999, supports women in their professional lives and celebrates and champions the role of women in the workplace. 

Griselda Togobo, MD of Forward Ladies, said: “This has been a fantastic year for women; we continue to start, grow and run high profile successful companies.  We have been surprised and delighted by the number and calibre and diversity of the applications we have received, and look forward to celebrating their success. 

“The award categories are a reflection not only of the types of businesses with which women are involved but also industries which need to attract and encourage young women to join for future growth and prosperity.” 

Debra White – regional director of Small Businesses for HSBC and Awards judge, and who presented the trophies – said: “There was an impressive number of high-calibre entries this year, highlighting the quality of talented businesswomen we have in the UK.

“These entrants are the future entrepreneurs of our country, with the Forward Ladies event showcasing the best Britain has to offer.  HSBC will be providing support to help these businesses prosper and thrive in the long term.” 

The winners from this and the other regional finals, will now be invited to appear before a live judging interview panel in November, followed by the national final in Leeds on 1 December.


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