Jo-Anne Chidley of Glasgow based Beauty Kitchen has been chosen as a finalist in the Brand of the Future category, sponsored by The White Company – awarded to a young brand that demonstrates huge potential for growth.
22 extraordinary women whose vision and tenacity have driven their entrepreneurial success have been named as this year’s finalists in the 14th annual NatWest everywoman Awards.
Since Jo-Anne Chidley launched Beauty Kitchen in September 2014 with five products stocked exclusively in Holland & Barrett UK, she has grown the business to include more than 90 products, launched in Holland and Belgium and in 2017 will be expanding the business internationally.
Having grown up in a challenging area near the ship yards in Glasgow she has had to drive herself to constantly learn, develop and create opportunities for herself, and devotes time to helping young people in similar circumstances do the same.
She runs 1-2-1 sessions with young people to help them with life choices and personal development, and is a member of the Youth Employment Initiative where she trains young people who have struggled to find employment.
The surge of entrepreneurship has been one of the most encouraging business trends of the last decade with record numbers of new business registrations. The prospect of lighter regulation, lower corporation tax, an enviable pool of talent and venture capital funding makes the UK one of the easiest countries to launch and grow a business.
Yet the rate of women-led business start-ups remains significantly lower than that of men – 5.7% versus 10%. Research undertaken by Deloitte suggests that targeted help for early stage women entrepreneurs could provide a £100bn boost to the UK economy over the next 10 years, proving the need to provide a better environment in which women-led entrepreneurial businesses will succeed at similar levels as for men, thereby benefiting the companies, stakeholders and, ultimately, the national economy.
The FSB agrees, with its report by the Women’s Business Council suggesting that the UK is missing out on some 1.2 million enterprises due to the untapped business potential of women and recommends more visible and diverse role models as one of its seven key recommendations Speaking about the finalists, everywoman Co-founder Maxine Benson MBE comments, “The ambition, success and humility of our finalists make them all strong accessible role models for other women and girls considering starting their own business. Gender has never been a barrier to great ideas or initiatives and this year’s finalists bear that out. We live in one of the best countries for entrepreneurship3 and there is no better place for enterprise to flourish, as our finalists prove. We wish them continued success and good luck!”
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest, said: “We are very proud to recognise these women, who are not just successful in their own businesses, but are also great role models. The importance of women in business cannot be underestimated, so we hope these role models will inspire other women to take their first steps in business. To help these entrepreneurs and would-be business owners, NatWest has a network of over 340 externally accredited Women in Business specialists who understand our customers’ ambitions and provide business advice, mentoring and networking opportunities.”
Category Judge, Chrissie Rucker MBE, Founder of The White Company, adds; “We are delighted to sponsor The Brand of the Future Award. At The White Company we put the brand at the heart of everything we do and over the years I have been lucky enough to be given some really wonderful pieces of advice from colleagues and mentors. It has helped the business grow and develop enormously. I hope by sharing some of this experience with the winner it will be helpful for another young brand with a great future ahead of it”.