The ceremony, held for the first time since the pandemic, took place at Glasgow’s Voco Grand Central Hotel, with emerging and established business-leaders honoured across ten categories.
The First Minister said: “The past couple of years have been exceptionally tough for businesses across Scotland, but the calibre of all of [the] finalists and winners shows the real impact Scotland’s women entrepreneurs are making across a range of sectors. These awards highlight the major role of Scotland’s businesswomen in driving our economy forward, with valued support from [WES].”
Ms Sturgeon presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Evelyn McDonald, chief executive of Scottish Edge, praising her “tremendous” contribution to supporting the next generation of women in business.
The awards were sponsored by Scottish Enterprise, Royal Bank of Scotland, Holistic Financial Leadership, Business Gateway, and the British Business Bank, with Greenock-based Poonam Gupta of PG Paper Company named Inspiring Leader of the Year, and Emma Reid of Ergo Law selected for Outstanding Business of the Year.
Start-up Business of the Year was won by Tiffany Wood of Dyneval, while the Growth Business of the Year accolade was secured by Anna White of ScotlandShop, with Jaclyn Robinson of JRPS highly commended.
The Funded Business of the Year winner was Claudia Freigang of Hearing Diagnostics, while Adaptive Business of the Year went to Allison Harrison of Hot Yoga Edinburgh, and the Embracing Technology Business of the Year prize was won by Gillian Crawford of Lily Blanche.
Net-Zero Business of the Year was given to Jo Chidley of Beauty Kitchen UK, with Sarah Heward The Real Food Café, Tyndrum, named Collaborative Champion, and Pheona Matovu of the Radiant and Brighter Community Interest Company and Kerry Anderson of Brave Strong Beautiful winning and highly commended respectively for Purpose-Led Business of the Year.
Congratulating the winners, WES chief executive Carolyn Currie said: “Businesses across Scotland have faced unprecedented pressures over the past two years and despite the additional challenges faced by women-owned businesses, the [WES] Awards have showcased how women business-leaders have stepped up to play their role in our country’s diverse, innovative, and adaptable business ecosystem.”