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By Hannah Connolly
ast night, the winners of the 2023 Bold Woman and Bold Future Awards were announced in what was the 51st year of the longest-running international accolade dedicated to honouring audacious women in business.
A modern evolution of the revolutionary spirit of Veuve Clicquot's lineage of celebrating women entrepreneurs, the award itself is inspired by the matriarch of the Maison, Madame Clicquot the original trailblazer recognised in the 19th century for her enterprising spirit.
Celebrating women leaders since 1972, this year, the award ceremony was held at the Veuve Clicquot Solaire Culture Exhibition in Picadilly Circus. Which recently provided the backdrop to Stack World Founder and CEO Sharmadean Reid MBE, (2021 Bold Future Award Winner) conversation with publishing legend and previous Bold Woman Winner, Dame Gail Rebuck DBE.
The exhibition, soon drawing to a close, shines a light on the 250 year history of the champagne Maison through an immersive curation featuring the work of internationally renowned artists including Yayoi Kusama, Sheila Hicks and Moyoco Anno.
This year's Bold winner, Tessa Clarke, was recognised by the judges for her “inspirational work” in creating the food sharing app Olio. Since its launch in 2015 Olio has established major partnerships with leading retailers, and has saved over 100 million portions of food from going to waste. Clarke’s ‘simple solution’ to an complex and pressing issue was amongst the reasons for her taking home this year's accolade.
In her acceptance speech Clarke had this to say: “It’s an absolute honour to receive this incredibly prestigious award… I started Olio because I wanted to help solve one of the world's largest problems.” Adding: “I hope I can continue to inspire the next generation of game changing, Bold female entrepreneurs.”
Karen Scofield-Seal, Founder of OCEANIUM, was the recipient of the Bold Future Award, which celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of up and coming leaders set to change the future. OCEANIUM represented to this year's judging panel a trailblazing example of a start-up which is harnessing the benefits of seaweed to develop bioactive ingredients for health and cosmetics, food and materials. Despite being in the early stages, Scofield-Seal’s company has already raised over $10million.
“The Veuve Clicquot Future Award is an amazing recognition of the incredibly bright future we have at OCEANIUM,” the Founder said in her acceptance speech. On the future, she added: “I’d love to see more female led businesses and I hope I can inspire others to be brave, audacious and follow their passion.”
With both winners envisioning a future of inspiring more women to start their own businesses, the need for such role models has perhaps never been more important and during the ceremony, the Veuve Clicquot International Barometer, was put before attendees.
The study, which surveyed over 48,000 women globally across 24 countries, including the UK, has taken a deep-dive into the state of play for female entrepreneurs. Almost half of the women surveyed (47%) said they believed that building a business is riskier for women than men, and 42% said they believe they must “act like men'' to succeed professionally.
The importance of role models is paramount to the furthering of women's progress as business leaders, and supported by Veuve Clicquot’s research which shows that two thirds of respondents believed that having a role model was essential to their own journeys to starting business.
Last night, the winners of the 2023 Bold Woman and Bold Future Award were announced, in what was the 51st year of the longest-running international accolade dedicated to honour audacious women in business.
By Hannah Connolly