Ayrshire Representation Increases Threefold at National Businesswomen Awards

As Prams with Pizazz is named Ayrshire’s Most Enterprising Business

Businesswomen across Ayrshire are celebrating this week after a record-number of local entrepreneurs were named as finalists in a prestigious national business awards.

Sixteen Ayrshire-based businesswomen will now each go on to compete with their peers from across Scotland in the 2015 Association of Scottish Businesswomen Awards – and with two nominees being named finalists in two categories, Ayrshire’s record-breaking 18 finalist places means that one in three of those making it through to the final stages are from the south-west.

It is also a threefold increase on last year’s then record-breaking 6 finalists placed for Ayrshire businesswomen – a fact no doubt reflective of the growth experienced by the Ayrshire Association of Business Women (AABW) in the past 12 months.

Ayrshire's ASB awards finalists

Liz Cooper, President of AABW, explains: “The Association of Scottish Businesswomen is an umbrella body of which AABW is a part, and every year we encourage and support our members in applying for the National Business Awards. In recent years, AABW members have achieved remarkable success, taking home many titles and punching well above our weight. At the same time our group has significantly grown and evolved, and we are thrilled to see so many Ayrshire businesswomen selected as finalists in these highly prestigious, keenly fought awards.

“To be selected as finalists at a national level is a superb accolade in itself, and on behalf of AABW I congratulate each and every one of them, and wish them all the very best.”

Past winner Fiona McKenzie of Kilmarnock-based Centrestage, also sends her congratulations to the finalists. She said: “It was a privilege and surprise in equal measure to win last year’s Outstanding Contribution Award, and I am so looking forward to hearing of this year’s Ayrshire successes.”

Her sentiments were echoed by Get 2 Grips with Grants’ Louise McCarron, who picked up the 2014 Best Performing Team award for her Largs-based enterprise. She said: “It was the best award because it was for the team, our amazing gang who work so hard and so imaginatively, who care for our clients and each other as much as for themselves. The very best of luck to all of this year’s finalists.”

This year’s Ayrshire finalists range from across North, East and South Ayrshire with manufacturing, retail, tourism, education and hospitality sectors all represented.

Amongst the Ayrshire finalists is Prams with Pizazz, the Ayr-based pram restoration business set up two years ago by former aeronautical engineer Carolyn Frew and her husband Scott. Fast-growing and founded on quality and craftsmanship, Prams with Pizazz is building an international reputation and has featured regularly in the national media, benefitting from the recent upsurge in interest in traditional coach-built prams following the christening of Princess Charlotte. Prams with Pizazz has now been named Ayrshire’s Most Enterprising Business, with AABW’s Liz Cooper presenting Carolyn with her award at an event last month.

Carolyn said: “I am delighted that Prams with Pizazz has been named Ayrshire’s Most Enterprising Business 2015. We’re also thrilled to also be a finalist in the ASB awards in the categories of Most Enterprising Business and Most Innovative Business. Prams with Pizazz is a real labour of love, working to any customer’s budget and now even shipping our prams abroad. The Ayrshire Award and our nominations for the national awards is fantastic recognition for all the incredibly hard work, long hours and dedication we have put into the business.”

The ASB National Business Awards will take place on 18 September at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.

To find out more about the Ayrshire Association of Business Women go to www.aabw.org.uk. Further information on the Association of Scottish Businesswomen and their national awards can be found at www.asb-scotland.org

Ayrshire-based finalists in the 2015 ASB National Business Awards are:

Professional of the Year

Linda Hill of LAH Travel (West Kilbride)

Sarah Plant of Sarah’s Creative Occasions (Kirkmichael)

 

Outstanding Contribution

Linda Hill of LAH Travel (West Kilbride)

Toni Dawson of Sugar and Spice (Largs)

 

Business/Charity partnership

Sheila McLean of Hansel Village (Symington)

Waiyin Hatton of Ayrshire Sportsability (Ayr)

 

Team of the Year

The Little Art School (Ayr, Troon, West Kilbride & Newton Mearns)

Business of the Year

Alexa Scott of SEM Events Ltd (Cumnock)

Employee of the year

Joanna Urquhart of William Duncan and Company (Ayr)

Hilary Stewart of Kelburn Country Estate (Largs)

Margarette Bryan of Begg and Company (Ayr)

Hilary Kerr of Simpinns (Irvine)

Most enterprising business

Carolyn Frew of Prams with Pizazz (Ayr)

 

Most innovative start up

Carolyn Frew of Prams with Pizazz (Ayr)

Young Business of the year

Jenny Goudie of Cardhu (Troon)

Lorraine McRobert and Tracy Dunlop of Bairnz Boutique (Kilmarnock and Dundonald)

Jennifer Hope of The Wee House Company (Knockroon, Cumnock)

Young Businesswoman of the year

Amy O Farrell of Amys O Florals (Newmilns)

Kara Nisbet of Articulate Language Camps (Stewarton)

[ends]

Issued by Create Communications on behalf of the Ayrshire Association of Business Women. For further information please contact Carol MacInnes at Create Communications on telephone 01563 595001 or 07739 774091.

Date: 4 August 2015

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