Who are the UK’s top 32 female entrepreneurs to look out for?
Business Leader has brought together a list of 32 female entrepreneurs to look out for. Whether they are an established and successful businesswoman, disrupting their industry, or are set to burst onto the scene – these women are set to dominate the business community for years to come.
The list is in no particular order.
At just 22 year’s old, Ainsworth became the youngest ever finalist on BBC’s The Apprentice and the founder of MYLKPLUS – a disruptive firm that offers dairy-free, vegan-friendly, nut-alternative drinks. Passionate about health and wellbeing, MYLKPLUS was created to fulfil a personal need, and now seeks to offer the product to a wider audience. Ainsworth is also a huge advocate for women in business and has conducted workshops to facilitate start-ups.
Known in her industry as a 3D printing and food technology trendsetter, Snover is also the founder of Rem3dy Group, which pioneers personalised health solutions across nutrition and medicine – under the brands Nourished and Script. Nourished is the world’s first customised nutrition product, which uses patented 3D printing technology and a vegan formula to combine seven different active ingredients into one personalised nutritional gummy stack. Scripted is the first 3D printed personalised medicine dispensary brought to the pharmaceutical market.
My Tennis Events
Stocker is the founder of My Tennis Events and former participant on The Apprentice. A former tennis coach and player, Stocker studied for her MBA at Edinburgh Business School, where she became the youngest person ever to graduate. Combining her sports and business knowledge, she started her own events company, running tennis tournaments for children. The business now runs over 400 tennis tournaments a year in partnership with David Lloyd, Virgin Active, Better and the LTA, creating a six-figure annual turnover.
Seeking to offer an entirely fresh concept in support staff recruitment, C&C Search was created by Lucy Chamberlain and her brother, Ed. With a 20-year career tracking the industry’s leading recruitment companies, Lucy co-founded C&C to redefine and elevate client and candidates’ recruitment experience. Specialising in recruiting support staff and HR professionals into SMEs, she’s built a successful business.
Founded in 2015 in Bournemouth, alongside England international footballer Tyrone Mings, Thomas’ KTM Design is an interior design and architecture practice that produces high-quality, versatile design solutions for commercial and residential clients. Thomas is also an interior design tutor at Arts University Bournemouth
and the South West Regional Director for the Society of British & International Design (SBID).
Botham’s firm was created as a result of her own cancer diagnosis at just 17 years old. When she was ill, there was a lack of guidance. The aim of the company is to support people dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy. She said: “I didn’t know what I needed to equip me for my journey, and I didn’t know where to find these things. My loved ones didn’t know what to buy me.” Rejuvenate Kits are the ultimate gift, which is nourishing and beneficial after a diagnosis, during or after cancer treatment.
The digital bank was founded by Boden in 2014, and has now opened 1.25 million customer accounts and holds more than £1.25bn in deposits. Starling Bank has forged a reputation for bringing quality products to market across business banking, travel money or overdraft facilities, that have won it several international banking awards.
Gustafsson is the co-founder of Darktrace, which received £182.1m in funding according to Crunchbase. Under her leadership, Darktrace reached a £1.36bn valuation in under five years and was named one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies. Gustafsson is also a qualified chartered accountant and previously served as the company’s CFO before becoming its co-CEO.
Novorol is the co-founder of Ada Health – a personal symptom checker and healthcare app, which recently received £54.7m in funding. Her career has been guided by her interest in developing creative solutions to tackle real-world problems. Throughout her career, Novorol has advised several health start-ups and is also the founder of Doctorpreneurs – a global community of over 10,000 medical professionals who share an interest in health entrepreneurship.
Established by the Scottish entrepreneur, Beauty Booker is a business building app to encourage customer bookings for hair, beauty and nail salons and spas across the country. Stott’s background is in purchasing and recruiting for the oil and gas sector, and later became the first female global marketing lead within the company.
Best known for being one of the most successful entrepreneurs to appear on The Apprentice, Fast previously founded agency Slingshot Sponsorship in 2010 from her bedroom of a rented flat, with only £2,000 and a laptop. She single-handedly built the business to a global powerhouse with offices in Singapore, Brazil, Oslo and London, servicing some of the world’s most high-profile brands. Fast has since launched an ice wine brand, REBEL Pi.
The Money Panel
Winner of the Best New Business at the National Business Women’s Awards, Morgan’s ‘The Money Panel’, offers financial coaching and planning for ‘busy women’. Her mission is to change the financial services industry to one that helps educate women to be in control of their money, to get financially resilient, start investing and feeling confident with money.
With 20 year’s professional experience, coupled with senior recruitment expertise spanning across both the public and commercial sector, Vincent founded recruitment company Baltimore Consulting in early 2013. Since completing an MBO of the company in May 2018 and taking 100% ownership, she was awarded ‘SME Director of the Year 2019’ at both the South West and National IoD Awards.
As parents to four children, aged 8-14, Chris and Vicky Saynor understood the need for adults to find rest, relaxation and fun when they have time off from the kids or work. Bethnal&Bec is adult only accommodation for anyone looking for a place to switch-off, sleep, enjoy long walks, leisurely lunches in fantastic authentic local pubs, plus rest and relaxation.
Karr is an entrepreneur and industry leader in the short-term accommodation sector, projected to be valued at £271m by 2025 in Europe. Founder and CEO of UnderTheDoormat and Chairperson of the UK Industry body, she works closely with government and regularly appears on the BBC and industry conferences in the UK and globally.
Capitalising on the emerging subscription box industry, Roccabox is a beauty members club that gives customers the chance to access, try and enjoy the latest, the hottest and the best beauty products available. Roccabox delivers to your door a surprise selection of beauty products, carefully selected by beauty insiders.
Watts is one of the founding partners at FUSE and specialises in tax planning and consultancy for businesses and individuals, as well as having extensive property knowledge. Though she has experience working across a broad spectrum of industries, she particularly enjoys working with clients in the creative sector and collaborates with an interesting mix of actors, musicians and fashionistas.
A leading fashion designer and entrepreneur within the retail sector, Duran founded streetwear brand, Critics Clothing, which she initially self-funded at 22. It has since received Series A, B and C funding and grown a cult following from celebrities such as Rita Ora and MNEK. Since then, Duran has launched BEYOUROWN – a digital news outlet that champions entrepreneurs with a mission.
Reynolds co-founded Swoop Funding, a technology platform that matches SMEs with the correct funding. Before launching Swoop, Reynolds started as an accountant with KPMG. Her career evolved with a focus on raising funds for small businesses. Reynolds is a non-executive director for Berkshire Hathaway European Insurance.
Sugg is a prominent YouTuber, vlogger, businesswoman and author. She is also known by her YouTube username ‘Zoella’ (also the name of her company). Founded in 2009, Zoella creates ‘highly addictive’ content on blogsites, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages relating to fashion, lifetyle, food and books.
Holly Tucker MBE
Tucker is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and UK Ambassador for Creative Small Businesses. Founder of Europe’s biggest small business marketplace, Notonthehighstreet, and now Holly & Co, a hub for small businesses to gain advice and inspiration; Tucker has made small business her lifeblood.
Trusted by over 700,000 users worldwide, OneFile – co-founded by Lawson – is the UK’s leading learning and development software. Its learning platform brings training and assessment together – allowing users to track their entire learning journey, from initial enrolment to end-point assessment. From apprenticeship training to professional development, OneFile can be used for all types of vocational training.
Nutribuddy launched in 2016 after nearly two years of planning and now has ten members of staff, one production facility, one distribution facility and has sold over one million shakes. Founder McKendrick was dissatisfied with every other ‘grab and go’ meal option and decided to create a genuinely healthy brand that focuses on helping people who don’t have much time to eat. Nutribuddy sell a range of natural shakes and cereals, made using natural wholefood ingredients.
Led by Spencer, Infinite You works with organisations to deliver inspiring and empowering change management, strategic leadership, and people development programmes – which maximise potential and make sustainable improvements to individual, team and organisational performance. Since establishing Infinite You, Spencer and the team have developed a proven track record in embedding cultural change, organisational transformation and people development improvements within well-known organisations across the UK.
Baker Thompson Association
BTA specialise in providing and teaching relevant skills and personal development for PAs and administrators. Their clients include banks and financial institutions, Premier League football clubs, universities, architects, the energy sector and media companies around the world. After over 20 years in the industry, Baker pioneered the training of PAs and administrators to ensure the success of their organisations and develop their own careers.
As well as being a freelance public speaker and model, Fern Snailham is providing premium promotional and event staffing solutions UK wide through her firm UNEEK Staffing. The award-winning company supplies hand-picked experienced promotional staff for a variety of client events and field marketing campaigns. UNEEK staff allow customers to interact and engage with brands, products, and services, creating positive, memorable experiences.
Sarah Luxury Handbags
Haran’s fashion brand started out as a hobby. She taught herself how to make handbags, which soon developed into a full-time career. Previously the Chief Operating Officer of iomart, an AIM-listed cloud computing business, Haran was frequently flying all over the country and needed a stylish bag for business, travel, and personal time. It has since grown into an internationally-acclaimed company.
Savage is the founder of construction business Jomas Associates – an innovative company of environmental and engineering specialists, providing a superior, responsive service through its highly technical staff and associates. Founded in 2009, the firm undertakes site investigations, land contamination risk assessments and geotechnical engineering assessments, adopting a pragmatic approach always.
Michelle Ovens MBE
Small Business Britain
Small Business Britain is the UK’s leading advocate for small businesses, supporting all 5.8 million small businesses in the UK – no matter their location, their sector, or their ambition level. Through a series of annual reports, events and campaigns, Ovens’ firm looks to champion and project the voice of small businesses in the UK to foster increased small business confidence.
George James Bridal
George James Bridal is a multi-award winning boutique located in the heart of Bedfordshire. Harris’ family suffered a devastating tragedy which has been part of the driving force behind George James Bridal. Harris sadly lost her 10 year old nephew after he battled with cancer and this loss put things into perspective for her. Having worked in a bridal boutique, whilst ‘resting’ from her acting career, she thought to herself ‘I could do that’ and George James Bridal was born.
This British-Australian skincare entrepreneur is best known for her appearances on the seventh season of The Apprentice, in 2011, where, despite coming in third, she secured investment from Lord Sugar. Ma is the founder of Tropic Skincare, a natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand, and has empowered over 12,000 women across the UK to start their own beauty business through her social selling initiative.
Alice Bentinck MBE
Bentinck co-founded Entrepreneur First in 2011, which funds individuals and helps build teams, develop ideas, and accelerate through fundraising from the world’s best investors. To date, it has helped over 1200 individuals build more than 200 companies in Europe and Asia, with a total valuation of over £1.3bn. Bentinck also set up Code First: Girls – a not-for-profit that has taught 5,000 women to code for free while at university.