Forward Ladies has announced the shortlist for the 2017 National Awards, sponsored by HSBC; bringing together start-ups, multi-million pound businesses, academics and international business leaders in what promises to be an impactful event.


Desi Doll owner and founder, Farzana Rahman was shortlisted in the Rising Star Category, such exciting news! Join us in wishing her good luck in the awards, insha’allah!

Learn more about the Forward Ladies National Awards:

In announcing the London and The South region shortlist, Forward Ladies Managing Director Griselda Togobo unveiled the names of 103 entrepreneurial female business leaders who will compete across twelve categories.


Griselda commented: “This has been a fantastic year for women and now it’s time to change gear and focus on the support needed to nurture talent regardless of gender, sector or region. The award categories are a reflection not only of the types of businesses with which women are involved, but also those which showcase the underrepresented women working in traditionally male dominated fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Digital and Online industries.
“The calibre of entries has been increasing year on year, but this year we have a number of outstanding entries and here at Forward Ladies we very much look forward to celebrating and sharing their success.”


The shortlisted applicants (announced below) in each of the categories will be invited to attend the glittering regional final at the Hilton London Tower Bridge, London on Friday 15th September. The winners from this, and the other regional finals, will then be invited to appear before a live panel of independent judges in November, followed by the national final in Leeds on 1st December.


Jennifer Crawley, UK Head of Performance for Business Banking, HSBC and judge said: “There was an impressive number of high-calibre entries this year, highlighting the quality of talented businesswomen we have in the UK. These entrants are the future entrepreneurs of our country, with the Forward Ladies event to showcase the best Britain has to offer. HSBC will be supporting them every step of the way to ensure their businesses prosper and thrive in the long term.


Other judges include Ajaz Ahmed, the founder of Freeserve, Jan Flawn CBE, founder of PJ Care, Sahar Hashemi, founder of Coffee Republic and Dale Murray, Co-Founder of Omega Logic.
The Awards are delighted to welcome back HSBC as key sponsor, and are supported by many sector leading businesses including Tastecard, Leeds Beckett University, Yorkshire Water, Carrwood Park, WGN, LCF Law, Freeths and United Utilities.


SME Emerging Category:

Caroline Sparks, Turtle Tots Ltd, Commercial Director; Farzana Rahman, The Desi Doll Company Ltd, Founder and Director; Sophia Nadur, Ideas 2 Launch Ltd, CEO/Co-founder;

Emma-Jayne Parkes, SquidLondon, Co-Founder; Martha Silcott, FabLittleBag (Loopeeze Limited), CEO; Nichole de Carle, Nichole de Carle London, Founder & Creative Director;

Alison Edgar, The Entrepreneur’s Godmother, Managing Director; Lana Elie, Floom Ltd., CEO; Arit Eminue, DiVA Apprenticeships, Director; Cheryl Luzet, Wagada Limited, Managing Director; Alison Jones, Practical Inspiration Publishing, Director; Laura Holmes, Laura Holmes Production Ltd, Founder & Company Director; Dany Griffiths, The Wise Hippo Ltd., Co-fouder & Creative Director; Amanda Stansfield, Granny Gothards Limited, Managing Director; Karen Dunne-Squire, Elation Experts, Creator/MD; Amelia Rope, Amelia Rope Chocolate, Founder; Eleni Renton, Leni’s Models, Founder /CEO