Spotlight on our businesswomen

Nikki Hesford
Nikki Hesford

ENTREPRENEURS have backed the launch of the biggest business awards for women as one of the most vital events of the year.

The Blackpool-based Pink Link Ladies group has launched their Enterprise Vision Awards (EVAs) 2012, and the first entries were received before its web portal was complete.

Award-winning Nikki Hesford (right), founder of e-commerce businesses Miss Fit UK and The Big Bra Bar, from Freckleton Street, Kirkham, said the EVAs presented a huge chance for Fylde coast businesswomen to take a step on to a bigger stage.

She said: “These awards are really important for women in business on two levels.

“It means an independent voice is telling a business it’s the best, which is far better than saying it yourself.

“And the networking opportunity the ceremony brings is fantastic.

“I try and use small businesses, rather than opt for the larger firms out there when looking at things such as web providers.

“You end up sat with like-minded people and I have done a lot of business that way before.”

Kirsty Henshaw, who became a household name after her successful appearance on BBC’s Dragon Den, is the EVA’s official ambassador.

She said: “I became involved in the awards when it was launched in 2011. I am delighted to be associated with the EVAs as they are a fabulous celebration of the North West’s finest female talent and in my role as ambassador I would encourage ladies to get involved.”

Award founders Coral Horn and Rae Stephenson run a string of ladies networks in the North West.

Director Coral Horn said: “We were absolutely blown away last year by the sheer volume of entries, which just goes to show the enthusiasm that women have for business and wanting to promote female enterprise in the region.”

The final will be held on September 14 at Ribby Hall in Wrea Green.

To enter the awards or nominate a businesswoman, visit www.enterprisevisionawards.co.uk.