Countdown begins for awards celebrating the region’s winning women

The 14th Annual North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards will bring together high-flying women from a variety of sectors across the North East in November. Gateshead College is amongst the sponsors of this year’s event.

The judges were this year looking for women who have particularly excelled at remaining focused and demonstrating clear leadership abilities in running or playing a key role in business.

Yet again the standard of entries this year has eclipsed previous years with numbers of entries reaching a record high, according to Women into the Network (WIN), and whittling them down to the remaining finalists has proved to be hugely challenging.  

Nickie Gott, WIN Chair and founder of events management company She’s Gott It! said: “This is our favourite time of year when we get to call the finalists to break the news to them that they’re up for one of these prestigious awards. The standard this year is better than any previous year and the award ceremony should be a fantastic event to celebrate the achievements of these women.

“We’re also putting together a collection of short films on the finalists as we really wanted to give everyone an idea of the amazing businesses and female entrepreneurs who work in this region.

The awards will coincide with the If (Inspiring females) Conference to be held at Gateshead College on the same day with an impressive line-up of speakers and workshops.

Among the stellar line up of awards sponsors are Gateshead College and UKTI.

Judith Doyle, principal of Gateshead College, said: “Our region has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and it’s vital that we support, celebrate and grow the talent amongst our female entrepreneurs in order to ensure this continued success. I’m thrilled the College is able to support these awards and play our part in creating the next generation of inspiring businesswomen.”

Tickets to attend this year’s North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards evening on Friday November 15th are £75 + VAT and include drinks reception, a 3-course meal and live entertainment.  Tickets for the conference are priced at £40 or £30 for NECC members and can be booked via

For more information, or to book tickets for the event, please email, call 0191 385 6619, or visit:

Here is the full list of finalists:

Best New Business

  • Alice Blackie – Pink Boutique Ltd
  • Charlotte Harbottle – Charlotte’s Butchery
  • Eve Whitaker – The Eight
  • Maggie Pavlou – People Gauge Ltd

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Leanne McHugh - Love Food Ltd
  • Alice Blackie - Pink Boutique Limited
  • Jess Lathan - Rock N Rose

Key Woman of the Year Award

  • Catherine Johns - Business Durham
  • Claire Carter - Collins Seafood
  • Edith Gibson - The All-in-One company
  • Melanie Sensicle - Visit County Durham

Best Small Business

  • Janet Maitland - Hair Excellence
  • Kate Dawson - The All-in-One Company
  • Leanne McHugh - Love Food Ltd

Best Retail Business

  • Alice Blackie - Pink Boutique Limited
  • Charlotte Harbottle - Charlotte's Butchery
  • Jess Lathan - Rock N Rose

Best Creative Business

  • Angela Lowery - Y Salon
  • Georgie Cameron – Admiral PR
  • Danae Abadom & Kerry Fairlie - Independent Events
  • Maccine Hall – Designs Unique

Best Home-based Business

  • Gillian Nemri - Petits Poussins
  • Julie Johnson (Step into Success)
  • Carol Lewcock - Mrs L Cards
  • Maccine Hall – Designs Unique

Best Use of Technology

  • Jill Tait – Absolute Image
  • Alice Blackie - Pink Boutique Limited
  • Lyndsey Johnson - LJ Retail Group

Best Social Enterprise

  • Gill Walker – Patchwork People
  • Grace Tia Bon Bon – ITL
  • Kate Bradley – Newcastle United Foundation

The Susan Dobson Award for Entrepreneurship

  • Paula Esson - Northern Integrative Health Practice
  • Kelly & Emily Dunn – Neuro Partners
  • Jo Hand – Jo Hand Recruitment Ltd
  • Georgie Cameron – Admiral PR

Best Woman in International Business

  • Jackie Miller – Miller UK
  • Nagma Ebanks Beni - Prima Cheese