Fewer women start businesses than men and the average income of a self employed woman is currently around £10,000. This award celebrates those women who have bucked the trend and set up successful businesses with real growth potential.
Meet our finalists
Jade Fisher – Cardiff
With an ethos to spread kindness and encouragement, Jade set up her greeting cards business in 2015. Finding her confidence along the way, she now runs a global brand with a turnover that is doubling each year. Jade’s brand celebrates friendship in a truly authentic way, featuring designs that started out as messages for her friends. She also draws on inspiration from books, music and poetry to create her beautiful cards and calendars. Jade’s greeting cards and paper goods are sold in over 300 stores across Europe and in over 100 stores in the USA and Australia. Knowing the impact that representation can have, Jade’s designs feature women of colour and other protected characteristics. This allows her to truly connect with her community. A mentor for Welsh ICE and Prince’s Trust, she is keen to empower other women into business. You don’t have to be a ‘certain type of person to succeed in business’
Sam Davies – Denbigh
A specialist recruitment consultant for Civil Engineering, Sam set up iconsult Technical in 2015 in Denbigh. Working across the UK, Sam is one of only four organisations that recruits for such specialist roles and she works with over 11,000 engineers each year. Passionate about Wales, Sam is proud to have grown the business to employ staff members from the local area and provide opportunities for learning and growth. Self-taught in geotechnics, Sam provides the right candidates for the engineering firms that she works with. Always looking for opportunities to give back, Sam and the team have philanthropy at the core of the business. They have raised over £10,000 for the charity Sense. Through a graduate recruitment scheme Sam has not only ensured that great opportunities are opened to female graduates, but the profits from this scheme have been donated to Glan Clwyd Hospital children’s ward.
Sian Cartledge – Neath
Graphic designer Sian identified a gap in the market when her son Max started school in the Swansea Valleys. Wanting to give him the gift of the Welsh language, Sian enrolled Max in a Welsh medium school and suddenly realised that, as an English speaker, it was going to be hard to help him with his studies. During lunch breaks, Sam created some flash cards to help Max learn. It also allowed her to learn alongside him. Sian thought she would be helping just a couple of families at the same school but within a week had sold 250 packs of flashcards. The business was born. Now providing Welsh language resources, home decorations and greeting cards to over 170 stockists in Wales, Sam is passionate about helping others. Offering flexible employment opportunities to others in the area, Sam says she is ‘really living her dream’.
Stephanie Hill – Swansea
A true force for change, Stephanie set up her training organisation around 5 years ago whilst on maternity leave. Taking charge of her own destiny, Stephanie is passionate about giving people the tools to help themselves through training in emotional resilience and widening horizons. She was inspired by her own journey as an Indian Ocean Tsunami survivor who overcame Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Wanting to help others she went on to study an MA in Disaster Management and Sustainable Development, and has worked in the Humanitarian Sector, International Aid and Health and Social Care sectors. Passionate about creating a foundation for feminism, Stephanie is currently working with the UN across Asia educating Police Forces to consider and implement a gender responsiveness when working with survivors of human trafficking