Prowess Awards Roll of Honour

It’s important to celebrate achievements – Awards do it so well! Sadly Prowess hasn’t been able to run an awards programme for a few years, but here we celebrate the many women who have won a Prowess Award in the past.

Winners and Finalists 2008

Business Support Professional of the Year

Winner: Ellen Kerr, Co-Director of the Women in Business for Merseyside Project

Julie Readman, Managing Director, Business Link South Yorkshire

Sarah Roberts, WiRE, Women in Rural Enterprise

Business Mentor of the Year

Winner: Elaine Owen, Managing Director, Designated Associates

Jane Barnes, CEO Yakkety-Yak Multimedia Company Ltd

Susan Heaton-Wright, Company Director, NSN Productions Ltd

Woman in SET Enterprise (Sponsored by the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET)

Winner: Jeanette Forbes, Managing Director, PCL Group

Donna Kingsley, Managing Director ADK Security Services Ltd

Jan Smith, Chairman EOL IT Services Ltd

Jane Palmer, Managing Director, Industrial Brushware Ltd

Female Social Entrepreneur (Sponsored by the Office of the Third Sector)

Winner: Karen Mattison, Co-Founder and Director of Women Like Us

Claudine Reid, PJ’s Community Service

Gill Gardiner, Co-Executive Director, Building Blocks Solutions Ltd

Helen Walker, Operations Director and Co-Founder of Water Power Enterprises (h2oPE)

Press Award

Winner: Margaret Heffernan for ‘Changing the rules?’ 13 August 2007, BBC Radio 4

Yasmin Akhtar and Claire Hill for Go-Woman! Magazine

Alison Maitland for ‘Top women tip the scales’, 10 Oct 2007, The Financial Times

Women’s Enterprise Researcher of the Year

Winner: Dr Rebecca Harding, Managing Director of Delta Economics

Muhammad Azam Roomi, Director of Research, Centre for Women’s Enterprise, University of Bedfordshire

Professor Susan Marlow, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Department of HRM, DeMontfort University

Ethnic Minority Business Woman (National) (Sponsored by WECOE, which is supported by AWM)

Winner: Lisa Tse, Director, Sweet Mandarin

Elaine Clarke, Chief Executive, Baa Bar Group Plc

Sanchita Saha, Managing Director, CitySocialising

Ethnic Minority Business Woman (West Midlands) (Sponsored by WECOE, which is supported by AWM)

Winner: Ranbir Sahota, Director, Vitis Public Relations

Kavita Janagal and Rani Uppelle, Co-Directors of Simply Recruitment

Vivean Pomell, Owner Brynels Hats and Accessories

Inspirational Business Mum (Sponsored by

Winner: Karen Mattison, Director, Women Like Us

Dee Wright, The Hairforce – Lice Assassins

Rachel Jones, Totseat

Inspirational Woman (Sponsored by WEConnect)

Winner: Suzanne Liversidge, Managing Partner of Sheffield Office, Halliwells LLP

Lisa Shepherd, Managing Director, Lisa Shepherd Salons

Karen Mattison, Co-Founder and Director of Women Like Us

Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Enterprise Development (Sponsored by HSBC)

Winner: Sally Goodsell, Chief Executive, Finance South East Ltd

Louise Heasman, Co-Founder, The Athena Network

Sonia Brown, Founder and Director, National Black Women’s Network (NBWN)

Winners and finalists of The 2007 Prowess Awards

Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Enterprise Development – sponsored by ACCA

Winner: Izzy Warren-Smith OBE, Director of Women in Rural Enterprise (WiRE) Izzy’s groundbreaking research led to the formation on WiRE in 1996 and has had an immense impact on government policy.


Prof Sara Carter, Director Entrepreneurship and Research Centre, University of Stirling. For 20 years Sara has engaged in research that has been instrumental in driving the policy agenda for women’s entrepreneurship in the UK.

Valerie Dwyer, Board Member, East Midlands Development Agency. Valerie is a tireless champion of women’s enterprise, giving 100% to all she is involved in across the East Midlands region. A serial entrepreneur herself, she has lived her dreams and it is that passion that has inspired so many others.

Inspirational Woman – sponsored by HSBC

Winner: Hilary Devey Hilary has grown the Pall-Ex Group to a multi-million-pound company with national and international reach since re-mortgaging her house 10 years to start the business. She also advises and supports female traders in Africa. 


Jan Cavelle, The Jan Cavelle Furniture Company Jan has built up a very successful business from scratch. She also actively supports the Dido project, which promotes women in non-traditional occupations.

Ratna Vohora, the Vitality Centre Ratna’s focus of interacting with the local community, supporting the Centre’s practitioners and fostering an inclusive business culture has not compromised the growth of her business.

Business Support Professional of the Year – Sponsored by Prowess

Winner: Zainab Yasmeen, Business Adviser/Mentor, ATL (Yorkshire Ltd). Zainab has raised the standard in client expectations, setting a benchmark for internal and external colleagues.


Ruth Rowe, Women into Business Adviser, Business in Focus, Bridgend Ruth’s dynamism and positive energy inspires and motivates her clients to achieve beyond their expectations.

Kath Tatlock, Business Support Network, Women in Business, Devon Kath has strong personal and professional values in both her paid and voluntary roles. She firmly believes that her role is to be a facilitator.

Chrystelle Benkhelil, Enterprise Enfield Chrystelle has the ability to advise and empower people from all walks of life. She has raised significant funding packages for several of the businesses she has advised.

Making an Impact – sponsored by SEEDA

Winner: Prof Sara Carter, Director, Entrepreneurship and Research Centre, University of Stirling Sara has an outstanding reputation in the field of female entrepreneurship and was one of the first UK academics to explore the links between gender and enterprise.


Dr Rebecca Harding Rebecca has been at the forefront of entrepreneurship research for several years and has always ensured effective gender analysis within her work.

Dr Sandra Fielden Sandra has conducted groundbreaking research in the field of female entrepreneurship over the last 10 years.

Innovator Award – Sponsored by Lloyds TSB Business

Winner: the University of Bedfordshire, Centre for Women’s Enterprise. The CWE launched the UK’s first women-only Masters in Business Administration (MBA) for Developing Businesses via Supported Learning.


Stargate Capital Capital Management Ltd for the Trapezia Women-focused Equity Fund. The first Venture Capital Fund in the UK dedicated to investing in businesses where women have an influential role.

The Her Business Centre. Based in Newham, one of the poorest boroughs in Britain. Her Business has developed one of the most innovative and ’transformational’ enterprise support services for women.

West Midlands Regional Women’s Enterprise Unit (RWEU). A seamless programme of targeted and mainstream business support for women, supported by AWM.  A best practice example for other Regions.

Female Business Mentor of the Year – sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks

Winner: Susan Edgar Susan has managed a significant caseload for over 9 years. Many of her mentees identify Susan’s support as critical to their business success.


Clive Lunn, Sheffield Hallam University. The young women Clive has mentored from the Enterprise Centre, Sheffield Hallam University have had quite outstanding success in national competitions.

Kai McCabe Search Consultancy Ltd Kai brings outstanding business skills and experience to her mentoring role and not only moves businesses on but stays with them.

Pratibha Hindocha, Catalyst Pritibha is determined to share her own experience as an Asian immigrant who’s set up a successful business.

Press Award – sponsored by BHP Information Solutions

Winner: John Carlin Nominated for The Observer, Woman’s Magazine article ‘John Carlin meets the inspirational banker Mohammad Yunus in Bangladesh’. A passionate account of how micro-credit has changed the lives of thousands of women.


Eleanor Wason Reuters, nominated for ’Female entrepreneurs neglected by government’ and  ’Rural and ethnic women starting new businesses’. Compelling articles that capture a range of issues facing women in business.

Pam Woodhall Nominated for The Economist article ’A guide to Womenenomics’. Strong economic analysis suggesting women are the most powerful engine of global growth.

Inspirational Business Mum – sponsored by Yellow Pages

Winner: Sarah Steele, The Old Station Nursery Sarah started her own nursery in 1999 after struggling to find appropriate places for her own young children. She now has a thriving chain of 8 nurseries and a work-life balance to die for.


Katie Mayne, TinyTalk baby signing classes Katie founded TinyTalk after teaching her son Harry to use sign language when he was just 7 months old. She has franchised the programme and there are now 91 qualified tutors, teaching over 2000 babies each week. Katie was given a special mention by the judges and was Highly Commended.

Susan Moore, Party Crew Working as a Company Director Susan missed her 3 children and felt guilty about not seeing them enough. She now has a refreshing balance in her life, employs 26 women and is a market leader set to grow further.

Abiola Ajayi-obe, Smartchartz Founder of Smartchartz, incentive charts that encourage young children to behave and learn better. The charts are sold online and in 10 stores nationwide including Selfridges.

Nadine Lewis, Identikids Nadine has invented children’s identity wrist bands, a simple yet valuable product now being distributed by major retailers including Boots and Mothercare.

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