Fylde business women shine in the spotlight as the EVAs awards winners are announced

Two Fylde businesswomen are celebrating after scooping awards at the 10th Anniversary Enterprise Vision Awards.

The girls were back in town as the awards ceremony which recognises outstanding female entrepreneurship in the North West, sparkled with glitz and glamour.

More than 650 guests turned out to celebrate the EVAs ceremony which took place in the Empress Ballroom at Blackpool Winter Gardens where 19 awards were presented.

Hosted by C4’s extreme cake maker, Rosie Dummer, the organisers said the ceremony fizzed with energy, camaraderie and female empowerment.

10th Anniversary Enterprise Vision Awards Beauty Industry Winner Bella Kowalska of the Nail Bus with Ruth Power of FMB

Despite the hardships wrought by the pandemic, the winners showed tenacity and innovation to make their business a success.

Women from all sectors were represented, individuals and companies; from laboratories, estate agents and a helicopters pilot agency to pet care, restaurants and styling products.

Poulton’s Bella Kowalska of the Nail Bus, a mobile nail and beauty salon, won the Beauty Industry Award. She impressed the judges with her clear business plan for growth, her attention to her carbon footprint and a video presentation that fully explained the business.

Liz Beavis, managing director of FMB, sponsor of the Beauty Industry Award said: “It’s fantastic to recognise the contribution female entrepreneurs have made to the UK economy.

Business Woman of the Year Highly Commended Gemma Walker of Helispeed

“From pivoting their businesses, keeping on top of rules, ensuring employees are safe, home-schooling, looking after the vulnerable and supporting their communities; these women have been amazing!”

Gemma Walker of Blackpool Airport-based Helispeed, the world’s largest provider of helicopter pilots, was highly commended for her work for women in aviation in the hotly contested Business Woman of the Year category.

Amin Vepari of Two Zero said: “We are proud and excited to be associated with supporting the EVAS and specifically Business Woman of the Year Award. The EVAS are a great vehicle for change and showcasing success hence our partnership is based on common objectives where we can collectively make a positive difference.”

To mark a decade of winning women, the EVAS raised over £9,000 for charity which included giving each of the charity finalists a free ticket to attend the awards.

NatWest has supported the EVAS as the headline sponsor since 2013. They also sponsor the Outstanding Achievement Award which, this year, was presented to whistle blower and champion of survivors of child sex abuse, Maggie Oliver. Regional Ecosystem Manager for the North West, Heather Waters said:

“Maggie Oliver is an inspiration to all of us and is great example of someone who has demonstrated resilience and determination in achieving her goals. We are delighted to present her with this award and wish her every success in her future endeavours.”

Coral Horn, founder of the awards, said: “In a time like no other, it was exhilarating to see over 1,150 nominations and 640 entrants. The pandemic wreaked havoc for women in business but these ladies are simply superb and fully deserve to be recognised for their achievements.”

The 10th anniversary EVA's winners:

Beauty Business Bella Kowalska - The Nail Bus (Poulton Le Fylde)

Family Business Ruth Poar - Eat My Logo (Chorley)

Creative Industry Leona Marsh - Marsh Mill Interiors (Preston)

Solo Business Vinny Scarantino - Chase the Sun (Preston)

Hospitality Breda Murphy - Breda Murphy Restaurant (Whalley)

Retail Business Rebecca McCann - ProBlo (Heswall)

Business Woman Dr Natalie Kenny, BioGrad Group (Liverpool)

Charity Debbie Rogers - Sean’s Place (Liverpool)

Customer Services Victoria Corcoran - Pets Country Manor (Liverpool)

New Business Elissa Corrigan - Elle Sera (Liverpool)

Employee Charlotte Hargan - Lakeland Inns Group Ulverston

Professional Services Angela Horn - THW Estate Agents Kendal

Young Entrepreneur Emma Lea Dalton - My Kind of Clean Kirkby-in-Furness

Inspirational Woman Rachel Holliday - TCC West Cumbria Whitehaven

Health & Wellbeing Caroline Heaton - Strawberry Rose Farm (Wigan)

Internet Industry Sara Jones - Centre of Excellence (Manchester)

Small Business Delight Mapasure - K’s Wors (Manchester)

Training & Coaching Olive Strachan - O.S. Resources (Urmston)

Outstanding Achievement Maggie Oliver - The Maggie Oliver Foundation (Altrincham)

Read also: Fylde dozen hoping for reward in women's business awards after battling through pandemicAlso: Women out to prove they are the best in the business at EVAs' Blackpool awards ceremonyThank you for reading. The Blackpool Gazette is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to local news, sport and information online, you can subscribe here