There was much excitement when talents from across the county were recognised at this year’s glittering Kent Women in Business Awards, including one of our own…

Over 250 people attended the glitzy black-tie event, and with a record number of entries, and of such a high standard, the judges found it the most difficult year to date to select winners.
There were 18 awards in total, from Start-Up Business of the Year, won by Claire Turner of Educational Life CIC, to the Professional Achievement Award, won by Natalie Mackenzie of BIS Services, and the Leadership and Management Award, won by Rasa Dregva of MMM-Media Ltd – publishers of this magazine.
The honours were sponsored by the Breakthrough Group and Pink Lady Apples, along with other local companies.

Hilary Steel, co-founder and host of the awards, commented: “This event is one that will stay with me for a long time to come.
“Since we launched in 2013, we have seen women who started a business and who are now employing people, female-owned businesses that have gone on to turn over six figures, as well as a shift in the way women nurture and support each other. I think this collaborative culture has a deep impact on the success of individuals and companies alike.”
Not only did the event showcase some exceptional talent, but £2,500 was raised for Breast Cancer Kent. The charity’s Helen Teare announced to the audience that ‘every penny raised would be going straight to a project to design an app which will have a positive impact on the patient journey, from initial diagnosis all the way through’.

Hilary Steel added: “We have seen so many amazing women in business in such a variety of sectors, their successes and achievements should absolutely be applauded. These awards are going from strength to strength, and we have seen women inspired by previous winners who have later gone on to win their own awards.
“This is something we actively want to encourage for next year – especially as the event will take place on International Women’s Day itself, 8 March, 2019. For more information please visit: www.kwibawards.co.uk

awardWINNERS
START-UP BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Claire Turner – Educational Life CIC

HOME BASED BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Diane McCann – Vibrational Sound Therapy

MUMPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Nicola Carey-Shine – Learn to Shine

BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR
(under 5 years)
Aly Harrold – Coaching for Public Speaking

BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR
(over 5 years)
Sue Hainsby – Carlean Lettings

LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT AWARD
Rasa Dregva – MMM-Media Ltd

WOMEN IN PR & MARKETING
Siobhan Stirling – Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

YOUNG BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Chloe Hill – Chill Dance & Fitness Academy

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Holly Mitchinson – Maypole Travel

INNOVATION AWARD
Ruth Hyde – Cryojuvenate UK Ltd

CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMUNITY AWARD
Sanu Gurung – Kent Gurkha Company Ltd

PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Natalie Mackenzie – The BIS Services

SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD
Natalie Potter – Nouveau Beauty

WOMEN IN THE ARTS/CREATIVE
Trisha Wood – Contemporary Artist

WOMEN’S CHAMPION AWARD
Siobhan Stirling – Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

WOMEN IN RETAIL AWARD
Clara Linton – Crafty Clara

GROWTH AWARD
Victoria Usher – Ginger MAY PR

INSPIRED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Joanna Strickland