Lancashire business women shine as the 2021 EVAs awards winners are revealed

Six Lancashire businesswomen are celebrating scooping awards at the 10th Anniversary Enterprise Vision Awards.

By Tim Gavell
Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 3:30 pm

The girls were back in town as the awards ceremony which recognises outstanding female entrepreneurship in the North West, sparkled with glitz and glamour.

More than 650 guests turned out to celebrate the EVAs ceremony which took place in the Empress Ballroom at Blackpool Winter Gardens where 19 awards were presented.

Hosted by C4’s extreme cake maker, Rosie Dummer, the ceremony fizzed with energy, camaraderie and female empowerment.

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Despite the unprecedented hardships wrought by the pandemic, the winners showed the tenacity and innovation to create a successful business.

Women from all sectors were represented, individuals and companies; from laboratories, estate agents and helicopters to pet care, restaurants and styling products.

Bella Kowalska (Nail Bus), Ruth Poar (Eat My Logo), Leona Marsh (Marsh Mill Interiors), Vinny Scarantino (Chase the Sun), Breda Murphy (Breda Murphy Restaurant) each won a 10th Anniversary award and Gemma Walker (Helispeed) was highly commended.

The winners fought off intense competition from their peers to win the Beauty Industry, Family Business, Creative Industry, Solo Business and Hospitality Industry categories respectively.

Previous EVAs Hospitality Industry winner and sponsor of this award in 2021, Kirsty Ridge of Lakeland Inns said that since winning her award she has seen a 400 per cent business growth, expanded from three pub locations to nine, increased her staff from 50 to 200 plus and launched a new brewery.

She said: “The EVAs aren’t just a pretty glass trophy, they acknowledge the determination and hard work of women in business; women who are often juggling their careers with being mums.”

To mark a decade of winning women, the EVAs raised over £9,000 for charity which included giving each of the charity finalists a free ticket to attend the awards. The EVAs were a Foodinate event so for every ticket sold a nourishing hot meal would be donated to a person in need.

NatWest has supported the EVAS as the headline sponsor since 2013. They also sponsor the Outstanding Achievement Award which, this year, was presented to whistle blower and champion of survivors of child sex abuse, Maggie Oliver. Regional Ecosystem Manager for the North West, Heather Waters said:

“Maggie Oliver is an inspiration to all of us and is great example of someone who has demonstrated resilience and determination in achieving her goals. We are delighted to present her with this award and wish her every success in her future endeavours.”

Coral Horn, awards founder, Pink Link, said: “In a time like no other, it was exhilarating to see over 1,150 nominations and 640 entrants. The pandemic wreaked havoc for women in business but these ladies are simply superb and fully deserve to be recognised for their achievements.”

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