A doctor-turned-entrepreneur, the founder of a cult beauty brand, and an Asda checkout girl who became manager at Asda’s top-performing store worldwide, picked up three of the top awards at the November 20 Women of the Future Awards, held in association with Shell.Now in their seventh year, the awards recognise outstanding females aged 35 and under, with Kate Hersov (pictured, centre, with James Caan and Helen Sachdev of Barclays), a doctor turned entrepreneur, and Nicola Elliott, founder of cult beauty brand NEOM, sharing the spoils in the Entrepreneur of the Future category. Kate founded the world’s first medical education company for children, Medikidz, in 2009 and was recognised by the judges for transforming medical education. She was honoured for the “outstanding innovation” of her business idea, which provides medical information to young people using comic books to explain complex concepts such as organ transplants, depression and HIV. Since launching, Medikidz has created more than 48 titles and distributed more than a million books worldwide in 25 languages. Nicola Elliott, who sold her car to invest in her vision of starting a beauty brand, was described as a “classic entrepreneur” by the judges and was commended for her “huge personal investment and self-sacrifice”. Mother-of-two Nicola launched her organic bodycare and fragrance company in 2005 with only five candle varieties, and has since grown it to a global brand with celebrity followers including Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. Also recognised for her rise from checkout girl to running the UK’s most profitable Asda store was Lindsay Goldsbrough, who was named Business Woman of the Future. Under Lindsay’s leadership, and with what the judges described as her “deep-rooted competitive fight”, this Christmas Asda Boldon will generate the most revenue out of all parent company Walmart’s stores worldwide. Applauding the young pioneers at the Women of the Future awards were Business Secretary Vince Cable, sporting legends Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Dame Kelly Holmes, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Marcus du Sautoy OBE, and Dragons’ Den entrepreneur James Caan. The Women of the Future Awards were founded by Pinky Lilani OBE and Caspian Media to champion young women making their mark in the business, professional, arts, media, and science and technology sectors. Other winners at tonight’s ceremony in central London were:
- Woman of the Future in Arts, Media and Culture: Chloe Hubbard, editor of the
- North Devon Journal. At age 30, Chloe is the youngest female newspaper editor in the country. Highly commended was global adventurer, Sarah Outen MBE.
- Professional Woman of the Future: Caroline Gill, senior geologist in Shell. The judges labelled Caroline as “clear winner” for her professional, academic and personal talents.
- Woman of the Future in Public Service: Shanaz Begum, director of extended learning, Mulberry School for Girls. Shanaz encourages leadership in young women in the school through enrichment projects. Highly commended was Sajda Mughal, founder of woman’s charity the Jan Trust and the only known Muslim survivor of the 7/7 bombings.
- Woman of the Future in Science and Technology: Becci Taylor, associate mechanical engineer, Arup. The judges said she impressed them with her total passion and youthful enthusiasm. Highly commended was Dr Iroise Dumontheil, postdoctoral researcher, UCL.
- The MBA Star Award: Rajal Pitroda, student, London Business School. A Forte Foundation Fellow, Rajal is creating an educational gaming business for young girls focused on technology, design and storytelling. Highly commended was Shoshana Clark, managing director, Turquoise Mountain.
- Young Star Award: Lucy Ellidge, aged 19, portfolio manager, Natwest. Working on the Accelerate Programme, and without a university degree, Lucy is challenging the traditional route into banking. Highly commended was Suriyah Bi, student at Oxford University and founder of the National British-Pakistani Conference.
- Mentor of the Year: Fiona Lambert, brand director, George, Asda. A leading businesswoman, Fiona was a key player in the first supermarket fashion brand in 1990. Highly commended was Jeanette Yuile of Shell UK.
- Woman of the Future Corporate Award: RBS Corporate Banking Division. RBS was recognised for its systems that support and nurture young women in business. The judges said the “thirst for change and continual improvement is truly inspiring.”
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