London & South Regional Heats: And The Winners Are …

L & S Regional Heats Winners

Outstanding business women in London and the South have been recognised at the prestigious Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards (WIBA) regional final.

Hosted by journalist and broadcaster Christa Ackroyd, the glittering awards for the London and the South heat took place at the Thistle Marble Arch Hotel, London today (16 October), where 36 entrepreneurial female business leaders from across the region competed in eight categories to be crowned the winner.

The regional winners from each category, including ‘Inspiring Leader of the Year’, ‘Start-up Business of the Year’ and ‘Rising Star’, will now compete in the national final taking place on 20 November in Leeds at the Queens Hotel. But first each of today’s winners will be put through their paces at a live session with the judges on November 4, held at headline sponsor of the awards HSBC’s offices in Leeds.

The WIBAs, now in its sixth year, has become one of the most high profile and respected accolades for women recognisising their enormous contribution to the economy and acknowledges start-ups to multi-million pound companies. This year’s guest speaker for London and the South was Karen Boswell, Hitachi Rail Europe, who also won a special lifetime achievement award.

Griselda Togobo, Managing Director at Forward Ladies said: “This year we received a number of outstanding entries from right across London and the South and the awards really did showcase some of the best talent and businesses from across the region.

“The awards have attracted women from all ages, all professions and all walks of life and we are delighted to welcome the winners from today’s event to the eagerly anticipated finals in Leeds in November.”

The full list of winners in the eight categories from London and The South is as follows:

Digital/Online Business of the Year – Sophie Taylor – Taylor Made Media, London

Inspiring Leader of the Year – Stephanie Asplin – The Crewing Company, London

Not for Profit / Social Enterprise of the Year – Jobeda Ali, Rahena Begum & Jaida Begum – Three Sisters Care, London

Retail Business of the Year – Rachel Lovett – Lovett & Co, Brighton

Rising Star of the Year – Tessy Ojo – The Diana Award, London

SME Business of the Year (Emerging – less than 10 employees) –    Linda Greenwall – Hampstead Health Care, London

SME Business of the Year (Growth – 10 or more employees) – Shelley Hoppe – Southerly, London

Start-up Business of the Year – Christianne Wolff – Body Rescue, Chartridge

Special Lifetime Achievement – Karen Boswell, Hitachi Rail Europe

This year, for the first time, award finalists and winners will be offered support from two of the most influential names in business – HSBC, who are the headline sponsor of the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards, and Microsoft, the awards technology partner.

HSBC will offer regional nominees and finalists local expert business advisers who will work with them on a one-to-one basis to identify growth areas and work out the best ways in which this can be achieved.

Debra White, HSBC Regional Director of Small Businesses in the North of England, said: “We are proud to support the Forward Ladies National Women in Business Awards programme and entrepreneurial women working and innovating across the UK. As part of our commitment to supporting Britain, we welcome the opportunity to provide help and guidance to this year’s winners of the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards to expand their business in the future.”

Microsoft will offer finalists a full review of their ICT set up. The review will explore how their organisation can utilise technology across a range of business functions to drive business results.

Sharon Jandu, Strategic Partnerships, Small and Medium Business, at Microsoft, said: “Our mission and values are all about helping businesses unlock their full potential and we are excited about the prospect of working with the UK’s leading women in business in their companies to support them to achieve this aim.”

Other regional sponsors of the awards were:

ASDA, Yorkshire Water, Xero, Microsoft, Lucas Media, The Corporative Insurance, Qhotels, LCF, Faith PR, Elland Road Financial Services, Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Life, Finance Yorkshire, WGN, Saville AV, Sorted PR, and George F White.

More information on the Women in Business Awards can be found at:


Issued by Faith PR on behalf of Forward Ladies. For further information and interviews with Griselda Togobo or the category winners, please contact Charlotte Goldthorpe on 01484 599886 or email


About Forward Ladies

Forward Ladies, the voice for women in business, creates opportunities for career women and entrepreneurs to build their networks and develop new skills. Founded in 1999, Forward Ladies has a diverse membership of thousands of businesswomen from global corporates to SME’S and start-ups.

The benefits of joining Forward Ladies include expert advice from recognised peers, webinars, blogs, mentoring, workshops, inspirational speaker events and training days.

The organisation’s signature International Women’s Day has attracted world class speakers like Cherie Blair, Germaine Greer and this year, former government Cabinet Minister Lady Warsi.