Finalists of Woman Who awards announced at Coombe Abbey

  • 09 Mar 2018

The cream of the Midlands female entrepreneurs were celebrated when the shortlist of the prestigious 2018 Woman Who awards were announced on International Women’s Day (Thursday, March 8).
More than 90 women, and several men, gathered at the event which was held at the prestigious Coombe Abbey Hotel where they heard from sponsors, former winners and an impressive line-up of speakers which included Ian O'Donnell MBE, Jo Stroud and Michelle Mills-Porter each of whom shared their own individual business success stories.


Finalists in the 11 categories represent a huge range of enterprises, from a stonemasons and monumental masonry business to drama and play classes for pre-school children to food manufacturing and logistics.
The  remaining category which is the Rising Star award is open until 30th March to enter.  Full details are here:  
Among those featured was Jo Derviller from Imaginate who last year lifted the Woman Who … Achieves in Business category and also won the Secret Judges Recognition Award.
More than 185 entries were received for the awards, which are run in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses and are designed to recognise the achievements of inspirational women from across the Midlands region.


There was even a category that men could enter – the Woman Who …. Change Champion for Women in Business, with Gary Hampton from Windows Plus and Daniel Skermer from Birmingham PA’s Forum making it through to the final.
Ian O’Donnell MBE, West Midlands Policy Adviser of the Federation of Small Businesses said: “This is the third year of the Woman Who Awards and we are bowled over by the achievements and ambition of the women in business in the region.
“The talent, drive and ambition displayed is truly inspirational and we hope that by showcasing this even more women will start out in business and reach their potential.
“Our congratulations to all the finalists.”

The final will be held at a gala launch and awards ceremony at Coombe Abbey Hotel on  27th April where the Woman Who…Achieves and Rising Star winners will be announced during an afternoon of entertainment with keynotes from Emma Heathcote-James, Holly Matthews and Fleur Sexton.

For further information about attending the Awards Lunch, visit