Creative, cultural – and connected

JUDGES are looking for creative businesswomen who have displayed innovation, strong business practice and determination to make their cultural business succeed.

Jacqui Chapman, Linda Tuttiett

JUDGES are looking for creative businesswomen who have displayed innovation, strong business practice and determination to make their cultural business succeed.

Sponsors of the best cultural and creative category of the North-East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards say the North-East has seen some remarkable and exciting growth across the sector, with many creative businesses rapidly being established, often from relatively humble foundations.

Arts Council England North-East is seeking nominations from entrepreneurs across the whole arts sector, including fashion design, arts and crafts, photography or computer design.

Small and medium-sized businesses are targeted by the awards, which are organised by Durham University’s Women Into the Network (WIN) group and are now in their eighth year.

Last year’s winner, Jacqui Chapman, of Spacecraft Events in County Durham, entered after clients and suppliers encouraged her to put in a nomination.

Spacecraft director Jacqui Chapman said: “We were extremely proud to win the award. We knew how winning this award would raise our profile quite significantly and work wonders for our credibility.

“It provided us with great PR and has increased our recognition enormously. Everyone seems to have great respect for the WIN awards, which was evident in the fantastic volume of congratulatory response we received.”

Sponsored by regional development agency One NorthEast and South Tyneside Council, the awards are for women in all areas of the business community, including The Journal-sponsored best newcomer category.

Susan McKeon, head of communications at Arts Council England North-East, said: “As the regional development agency for the arts, our aim is to put the arts at the heart of regional life.

“In the North-East, the number of new and developing creative businesses is expanding rapidly. Whether it be photography, fashion or jewellery design, pottery, or fine art, a growing number of women entrepreneurs are building thriving businesses through their creativity.

“Through this award, we are looking to recognise and celebrate the achievement of a woman entrepreneur – or women entrepreneurs – who have demonstrated innovation, good business practice, passion and a determination to succeed through their creative business.”

The full list of categories is: Young Woman Entrepreneur, Best Newcomer, Woman Social Entrepreneur, Best Cultural and Creative Business, Rural Woman Entrepreneur, Woman in Technology or Innovation and Woman in the Service Sector.

THE awards will be presented at a gala dinner for up to 700 guests at The Sage Gateshead on Friday, November 16.

Log on to www.womenintothenetwork for all the categories, criteria and entry details. To book tickets for the dinner, call: (0208) 255-1660 or e-mail l.d.vickers@durham.ac.uk

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