A line up of the UK’s most dynamic female entrepreneurs has been unveiled by Small Business Britain, with 100 women who run some of the UK’s most impressive businesses being showcased to highlight the phenomenal contribution to society, economy and communities that female founders make across the UK.
From adaptive fashion designers to female-run private security companies, social enterprise leaders and ethical product manufactures, this year’s f:Entrepreneur ‘#ialso100’ campaign celebrates the growing tide of inspirational, multi-achieving female entrepreneurs that lead purpose-driven businesses alongside a roster of other responsibilities, such as volunteering, mentoring and community support.
Now in its sixth year, the campaign reflects how female entrepreneurs continue to thrive in the UK despite the challenges of the past years, with many scaling or starting new ventures.
Indeed, research undertaken by the campaign last year showed a strong entrepreneurial drive among women in these tough economic times. Almost one fifth of women in the UK reported considering starting their own businesses, with almost half citing a desire for more money, followed by 46 per cent wanting the freedom of being their own boss.
The f:Entrepreneur campaign was launched in 2017 to raise greater awareness of the impact of incredible female business owners across the country, and help provide inspiration and role models to the wider small business community. Delivered by Small Business Britain – the leading champion of small businesses in the UK – the campaign offers a host of events, training, and networking opportunities to boost skills, capability, and confidence.
Among this year’s 100 line-up Lisa Baskott, who started 2nd Line of Defence, the UK’s first female-focused recruitment agency in the private security sector, as well as Marsha Powell, the co-founder of BelEve UK – a girl-focused charity working with 8 to 21-year-olds to empower young women to maximize their potential and celebrate achievements.
Many of the businesses featured in this year’s campaign also demonstrate a huge commitment to championing diversity and inclusion, as well as promoting sustainability.
For example, this year’s ialso100 line-up features Morag Ofili, a barrister who founded Kiltered to help small businesses build diverse and inclusive workplaces, as well as Bryna Chrismas, who launched adaptable activewear brand Ran By Nature.
Also featured is Beccy Dickson, who runs EcoFoundry, which installs and maintains ‘living walls’ across the UK, and Beck Prior, owner of Prior Shop in Bristol which makes sustainable products, as well as offering creative workshops and free business mentoring.
“The UK is absolutely full of phenomenal female entrepreneurs, who are doing incredible things that inspire change, often around tackling some of society’s biggest issues,” said Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain.
“It is so vital that we give greater recognition to these trailblazing women and the powerful contribution they make to society and the economy. Times are incredibly hard for many business owners, but inspiring entrepreneurs like these represent the future for the UK economy and deserve encouragement and celebration.”
The full line-up of the 100 amazing women featured in this year’s f:entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign is:
Abby Moorcroft – founder of Colourblind Zebra. Abby draws on her own experience of living with chronic illness to create badges that let the wearer express help they might need without having to put it into words themselves.
Abisola Aboh – founder of Full Bloom Beauty, which provides healthy and natural hair care products for all hair types with a special focus on afro-textured hair.
Alexandra Birtles – founder of In Good Company, a UK tech-for-good start-up on a mission to make it easy for conscious consumers to find the ethical, for-good local small businesses and experiences.
Allegra Chapman – co-founder of Watch This Sp_ce, workshop, audit and strategy process to enable organisations to understand where they are in terms of diversity and inclusion, and create an action plan to improve.
Amanda Marshall – founder of 3 Donkeys Clothing, a 2 in 1 coverall designed just for women, inspired by when Amanda’s youngest was a day old in the lambing shed struggling to remove her all-in-one coveralls.
Andrine Allen – founder of AA Educates, a CIC that believes a young person’s prospects should be determined by ability, not household income.
Beccy Dickson – founder of EcoFoundry which installs and maintains living walls and biophilic solutions across the UK.
Beck Prior – runs Prior Shop in Bristol, who make sustainable products, run creative workshops and offer free business mentoring.
Bryna Chrismas – founder of Ran By Nature, an adaptable custom made activewear brand using ethical recycled fabric/organic natural cotton, elastic, zips and all trimmings.
Carly Webb – Psychotherapist and the founder of Vitus Wellbeing, which provides expert private therapy sessions to all in need.
Caroline Joynson – founder of Cheerleader PR, helping business owners get media coverage and PR to build relationships, raise their profile and make more sales.
Charlotte Wise – founder of Charlotte Pink, a Digital Marketing Consultancy specialising in the marketing of health and well-being businesses in the parent and child sector.
Dilek Ozgit Butler – co-founder of Zinergy which offers green and thin battery solutions for smart labels with added functionality to enable more informed decisions, increase process efficiencies and reduce waste.
Dr Hayley Dawson – founder of The Sage Club, offering mentoring, masterclasses and workshops to help people with work, careers, wellbeing, and connections with the self and others.
Emma Robson – co-founder of Stort Valley Spirits, which offers handmade artisan spirits for wholesale and retail, and carefully curated sustainable and locally produced beers, cider, sparkling wine with alcohol-free options.
Funmi Lawal – founder of Clip-Knix, a collection of adaptive, clip-on underwear to help people with limited mobility all over the world.
Gill Erskine – founder of WildStrong, a community building and exercise company providing classes in rural areas that focus on building strength and skills for longevity.
Gouri Kubair – founder of Holy Lama Naturals, 3rd-generation family business, with its factory in India distributing natural, concentrated flavour extracts called Spice Drops, and an Ayurvedic body care range.
Greta McDonald – founder of Sweet Lounge, a vegan confectionery brand offering non-compromising and delicious sweets with a large focus on environment, sustainability, and animal care.
Helen Aimee Vits – founder of Lovingly Local which mentors small businesses, allowing them to build strong business practices and nurture their teams.
Ira Arz – founder of Maison d’Ira which provides homeware accessories to ethically conscious consumers aiming to reduce the amount of textile waste that ends up in landfills.
Iyabo Bello – founder of IKooK, a private chef booking service offering affordable luxury service and a special private chef experience.
Joanna Kim – founder of Cyssan, a watch and accessories brand creating timepieces designed specifically for women.
Laura Rana – founder of Khushi Kantha, an award-winning social enterprise creating sustainable and vibrant hand-made baby blankets, embroidered by mothers in Bangladesh.
Leesa Sharpe – founder of LJs Boutique which offers fashionable, comfortable and colourful plus sized clothing with matching accessories, shoes, beauty products and make-up.
Leisa Pickles – founder of Find me the Leads, which works with independent food and drink brands to help them get their products bought and discovered by more people.
Lucie Mountain – founder of Crepe Lucette, which offers a vintage, authentic crepe making experience at events, festivals and private parties across the UK.
Lucy Hall – an experienced event planner running her own events company, Lucy Claire Events, that works with clients across the South East on corporate, private and virtual events.
Lucy Jeffrey – founder of Bare Kind, which sells bamboo socks and donates 10% of the profits to help save the animal featured on the sock. Lucy has 15,000 customers to date and her socks are stocked in more than 450 retailers across the world.
Mahira Kalim – founder of Spruce, an ethical homecare brand that is Certified B Corp and makes award-winning, low-waste refillable products.
Marie Cavanagh – founder of Fired Works, which makes fused glass artworks, jewellery and other trinkets at her high street gallery and studio. Marie also runs workshops, including for children’s groups.
Marsha Powell – co-founder of BelEve UK – a girl-focused charity working with 8 to 21-year-olds to empower young women to maximize their potential and celebrate achievements. BelEve stands for equality, social mobilisation, and Girls’ Rights.
Michelle Taylor – wedding and family celebrant (Michelle Taylor Celebrant), trainer, and mentor who travels throughout the UK delivering fun and dynamic ceremonies that blend cultures, religions, and other beliefs.
Morag Ofili – founder of Kiltered, which helps small businesses build diverse and inclusive workplaces using organisational psychology and data analytics. Morag is also a committee member of the Black Barristers’ Network which aims to increase representation of black people at the bar and mentors young people considering a career in law.
Neela Prabhu – founder of Homeopathic Harmony and a qualified licenced homeopath with almost 20 years’ experience as a community pharmacist.
Nina Daniels – founder of NINA D. Nina is an artist and designer, originally from Sweden, who produces high quality, hand illustrated tableware products inspired by her Swedish upbringing and family traditions.
Nirali Buch Mankodi – founder of Superfoodio, a plant-based snacks company that have launched the world’s first peanut butter buttons made with all-natural ingredients.
Nithya Prabu – founder of Lurnable, a data-driven education tech business, helping international students to make the right educational decisions.
Olivia Marocco – founder of Brand You Magazine, a creative publication written by women for ambitious female business owners, who love being part of a like-minded sisterhood.
Pam Gordon – founder of The Franchising Centre, providing consultancy for businesses looking for support to franchise and also working with franchisors on marketing and recruiting franchisees.
Rachel Hill – founder of Rachelles, making wedding cakes since 2007 and offering online courses to students all of the world.
Rebecca Wilson – founder of Friends for Pets, home-based pet care services using small teams of pet carers managed by a local Friends for Pets franchise owner.
Rhiannon Lewis – founder of Jacobs Boutique xo, offering handmade clothing and accessories for babies, kids and adults as well as embroidery and vinyl printing services.
Rondi Allan – founder of Sustainable X, sustainability consultancy which supports small businesses in their business sustainability journey.
Rosemary Madagwa – founder of Lava Cap, a microwavable conditioning heat hair cap to care for hair at home, made of durable cotton flaxseed-filled.
Sandra Corcoran – owner of the family business Pennine Cycles since 2000, which sells bicycles and accessories, as well as offering repair services and manufacturing their own Pennine brand of bicycle in Yorkshire.
Sandy Abdel Rahman – founder of the London youth-led activist charity Skaped, that encourages people aged 11-30 years from under-resourced backgrounds to engage with social change through the creative arts.
Sara Giles – founder of Newport Pet Services, a pet care business offering dog walking, pet taxi services, and a pet chaperoning service for dogs to participate in wedding photos.
Silvia Del Corso – PinkSEO, a SEO agency providing services and working with businesses who are looking to grow by getting more leads and sales.
Susan Payton – founder of The Business of Stories, which helps entrepreneurs use storytelling in their business and has written a best-selling book on the subject. Susan was diagnosed with ME in 2006, launched her business in 2015 and shared her story.
Susana Teixeira – founder of PrimaBerry, a sustainable British brand selling clothing and accessories inspired by travelling and diversity.
Tessa Robinson – founder of Club Hub, the largest children’s activities directory in the UK, with a monthly audience of 300,000 visitors.
Tiffany Chiu – founder of Juliemay Lingerie, the UK’s only allergy-friendly underwear brand providing garments for people who suffer from eczema and skin allergies caused by latex, synthetics, elastane or harsh chemicals.
Tigz Rice – an empowering portrait photographer who encourages people level up their body confidence and become visible in both personal and professional lives.
Dr Youmna Mouhamad – of Myana Naturals and Nyfasi Deluxe Detangler. Scientist Youmna created the Deluxe Detangler, using a family remedy, from her experience as an au pair detangling children’s hair.
100 of the UK’s most dynamic female founders named