The 19th annual NatWest everywoman Awards celebrates the UK’s most inspiring female entrepreneurs, recognising their outstanding achievements during one of the most challenging periods for businesses in living memory. Bringing together some of the UK’s most successful business owners, the ceremony featured the stories of many extraordinary women who, against the odds, have brought business concepts to reality, creating jobs, opportunities and global brands.
This year’s winners span multiple sectors including food, fashion, drinks, health, beauty, energy, IT and service industries. All are united in one common purpose - to inspire future generations of entrepreneurs and to leave the world a better place than they found it.
After her daughter was diagnosed with eczema, former hairdresser Pauline tried a myriad of products to help soothe the effects, but the only one that worked was a papaya fruit based balm that she had used growing up in Australia. Undaunted by her lack of business experience, Pauline spotted the opportunity to bring this to a UK market, seeking out Australian producers, yet none was interested in exporting.
Determined she was onto something Pauline decided to create her own papaya brand, learning to run a business on instinct. Through trial and error from finding a manufacturer to sourcing the right ingredients, she created her range of multipurpose papaya balms suitable for all ages and skin types.
The initial success of the company took even her by surprise - after just one trade show she had interest from all over the world and eight years on Dr PAWPAW turns over £5 million and Pauline is looking to take investment to grow the business further.
Speaking about the winners, Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder at everywoman comments: “For nearly two decades these awards have provided a platform to share the stories of hundreds of entrepreneurs, encouraging, emboldening and empowering other women to follow suit. Against a backdrop of Covid, these women have shown how innovation and enterprise have helped their businesses to thrive under extraordinary trading conditions. We hope their experiences will go onto inspire others and provide the motivation and inspiration that will be the backbone of the UK’s economic recovery.”
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest Group, says: “The winners show just a fraction of the wealth of female talent across the UK. We need to ensure women business owners have the same funding, networking and support opportunities as men. This is why NatWest has ring-fenced £2 billion for female-led businesses, we have 800 women in business specialists across the UK and a target to recruit 60% women entrepreneurs to our accelerator hubs. Everywoman does a phenomenal job on shining a light on inspirational role models and I want to congratulate all the winners and runners up.”