Yesterday, I mentioned that Kim and I were invited to the Grosvenor House Variety Club’s Catherine Awards for Inspirational Women in Business. Their inaugural event was sponsored by the Evening Standard. The winners were so inspirational. Charlotte Pearce was first up – with her fascinating business Inkpact, www.inkpact.com – who employ people from all backgrounds, often looking for a second chance at a career, to handwrite letters (with a real pen…!) for corporate clients around the world.

Then, who’d have thought to bring to the UK the idea of selling liquid egg whites? Huge across the Atlantic already, with the self-explanatory line ‘lighter, whiter eggs’, Anna and Alla are certainly are a good advertisement for their product and they were so charming and natural as they explained how they hatched their business.

Charlotte Crosswell’s (Strategic Advisor to NASDAQ) favourite was Sam Smith, CEO of FinnCap Ltd, winner of the Finance and Banking Award. FinnCap is an entrepreneurial, employee owned, corporate advisor which raises money and advises ambitious growth companies. Sam’s initial belief that she was stepping into a man’s world has been turned on its head, they employ 40% women and she is a strong believer that she should be true to her feminine self by building a business model that would encourage and nurture careers for women in the City.

Next up was Sonia Freedman OBE, of Sonia Freedman Productions Ltd, who won the Entertainment and Art award for her company’s outstanding and globally successful theatre productions in the West End and on Broadway, which include Book of Mormon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Dreamgirls among others. She was unfortunately absent because of filming in New York.

And then the founder of Goat, Jane Lewis, who told us exactly why fashion isn’t what you should be looking for – it’s style and if you know your style then you’ll always be ahead of the game.

Agog with these incredible elegant business women telling their stories, we were completely bowled over when they announced that we were the winners of the Professional Services Award! The other winners seemed so well prepared, confident and eloquent and having had no prior warning we were suddenly propelled onto the stage in front of a vast audience and under the bright, unforgiving lights.  Although slightly dazzled we spotted many clients and candidates from the stage which gave us a confidence boost!

I think that our next move will be to have some training in public speaking… Off to Jane Houghton who was also in the audience as a judge.

We were thrilled today to hear so much support for the business and I received a call from Natasha Tucker, the founder of Rêve en Vert, who we placed with a financial services firm a few years ago – she now runs the most inspirational business selling sustainable quality gifts on a seriously slick and stylish retail platform.

Check out her website too – you’ve got 25 days to Christmas Eve so get cracking! www.reve-en-vert.com

We had a fantastic evening and it is an honour to have joined such an inspiring line up of women. It remains only to thank Charlotte Picot of Component Events who nominated us.

 

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