Two leading enterprise organisations are running their annual searches to recognise and honour the UK's most inspiring female business owners.
The f:Entrepreneur campaign, organised by Small Business Britain, is opening applications for this year's #ialso100 from 1 September. Each year, the campaign features an impressive line-up of 100 female business owners, to recognise the growing tide of women running businesses while also juggling responsibilities which support their peers and communities.
Research conducted by the campaign earlier this year revealed a strong entrepreneurial outlook among women, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It found that 17% of women in the UK were considering starting their own businesses, and 42% said they were motivated to turn a passion into a business.
The f:Entrepreneur campaign will highlight role models to inspire all small businesses as well as offering skills training and networking opportunities. Now in its fourth year, the campaign has grown year-on-year and attracted a record number of applicants in 2020. It is free to enter and applications are open until 30 September 2021.
"It is so inspiring to see female entrepreneurship flourishing so much in the UK today, despite the massive challenges of the last eighteen months," said Michelle Ovens, founder of Small Business Britain.
"We started f:Entrepreneur to celebrate phenomenal women and support their success. It has become clear that amazing things happen when women come together to help each other. I'd encourage any woman running a small business in the UK today who has a fantastic story to tell, to get involved and put yourself forward."
Meanwhile, Enterprise Nation, with support from TSB, has announced the return of its annual search for the Female Start-up of the Year, as part of the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs which takes place in Bristol on 22 October this year.
Enterprise Nation is looking for "entrants with a clear vision of their start-up's direction - and ambitious plans for growth. Their company must be less than five years' old and have a maximum of ten employees."
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: "This competition is a celebration of British female founders, awarding one lucky winner the prestigious title Female Start-up of the Year 2021 and a bundle of business boosting prizes.
"The past 18 months have been challenging for many businesses but entrepreneurs are optimistic by nature and we've been overwhelmed by the determination and resilience shown by the small business community. This is why this year's celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit is even more essential."
Written by Rachel Miller.