Women entrepreneurs bucking the trend

It may be all doom and gloom in the economic forecasts, but the female entrepreneurs of the North East demonstrated their optimism in overwhelming numbers at the North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

Donna Wilson of Logistics Teesside scooped the top prize, the Susan Dobson Award for Entrepreneurship, and was named ‘North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2008’.

Entrepreneurs with businesses of all sizes from across the region converged on The Hilton Newcastle Gateshead on Friday 21 November for the award ceremony, which was organised by Women Into the Network (WIN), and sponsored by One North East & Business Link.

Dinah Bennett of the Durham University Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, and Director of WIN said: "The Awards are a platform for us and our sponsors to recognise the talented entrepreneurial women here in the North East. Previous winners from small home-based companies to major employers in the region, have grown their businesses, reputations and profile. They have gone on to win new business, recognition through national and regional awards and, equally importantly, acted as role models for other women already running businesses or who are thinking of starting enterprises for themselves or their community.”

Margaret Fay, Chairman of One North East, said: "Amongst women in the North East, we have a huge seam of talent to tap into which is why we need to continue tackling the barriers that can prevent women from starting their own businesses.

“Once again, the North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards have highlighted some of the fantastic examples of women turning their ideas into reality in this region.”

A full list of nominees, winners and runners up can be found at www.womenintothenetwork.co.uk

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