BWS Awards

Judy reflects on Strictly as Hodson and Matthews share top prizes

Judy Murray: talked about her time as a celebrity dancer (pic: Terry Murden)

Scotland’s business women were encouraged to share their experiences as they celebrated another year of success.

Addressing the Business Women Scotland Business Awards of the Year tennis coach Judy Murray said such events helped individuals learn from one another.

“I’ve always believed in the strength you get when you bring like-minded people together,” she said. “With a group of women you tend to not get egos but instead a willingness to network and share. At events like this people can come together and share experiences.” 

During a Q&A session the mother of tennis champions Andy and Jamie joked how her Grand Slam winning sons reacted to her plan to join television’s top dance show.

She was invited to join Strictly Come Dancing, but was nervous about how her two tennis aces would receive the news.

“Jamie was enthusiastic, saying I would really enjoy it,” she recalled. “Then I had to tell Andy. He just said: ‘Oh my God. You’ll be crap.’ “

She said both her sons turned out to be right.

“I loved it, even though I wasn’t very good. Some of them take it very seriously, but for me it was just a bit of fun.”

Celia Hodson, founder of Hey Girls social enterprise, was named Overall Winner of the BWS Awards as well as Inspirational Woman of the Year.

The entrepreneur set up the innovative project that tackles period poverty by giving a girl one pack of products for every pack a consumer buys.

Celia Hodson: big prize (pic: Terry Murden)

Along with the award, Ms Hodson also wins a two-week radio airtime radio advertising campaign to the value of £4,000, along with production of a 30-second commercial.

Heather Matthews, of Little’s Chauffeur Drive, won Business Woman of the Year and Established Business of the Year Awards. Imogen Russon-Taylor, of Kingdom Scotland fragrance House, was presented with the Rising Star of the Year and Start-up Business of the Year Awards.

Entrepreneurs from the fields of technology, finance and marketing were winners at the fifth annual awards, supported by Daily Business, which put the achievements of women-led businesses firmly in the spotlight.

Charity founder Corinne Hutton, who lost her hands and feet to sepsis, gave an inspiring speech about how she conquered her affliction and had received new hands which had changed her life.

Heather Matthews: business woman of the year (pic: Terry Murden)

“Just the act of picking up a napkin with one hand was suddenly a great achievement,” she said.

Lynne Kennedy, founder of Business Women Scotland, said: “The stories we have heard from entrepreneurial women who have made their mark have been truly inspirational.

“To learn how those lightbulb moments prospered and grew into successful businesses in a wide range of industries has been unbelievably impressive. We are delighted to recognise the achievements of women in business across Scotland.”

Judges of this year’s awards included Yvonne Greeves, head of women in business for NatWest, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank; Amanda Jones, employment partner at global law firm Dentons; business growth strategist June Walker, a specialist advisor to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Future Female Business Leaders programme; leadership coach Laura Gordon, chair of Vistage; Michelle Ferguson, director of Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company; and Susie Fraser, managing director at Adeo Group.

Overall Winner 

Celia Hodson, Hey Girls

Business Woman of the Year

Heather Matthews, Little’s

Established Business of the Year

Heather Matthews, Little’s

Inspirational Woman of the Year

Celia Hodson, Hey Girls

Rising Star of the Year

Imogen Russon-Taylor, Kingdom Scotland

Social Enterprise of the Year

Zakia Moulaoui, Invisible Cities

Sole Trader of the Year

Mhairi Mackenzie, Bonnie Bling

Start-Up Business of the Year

Imogen Russon-Taylor, Kingdom Scotland

Women in Finance

Kimberley Oliver, Xenith Financial

Women in Marketing & Social Media

Tammy Koslowski, Naf Salon

Women in Technology

Margaret Totten, Akari Solutions

Inspirational Woman of the Year

Highly commended

Susan Harkins, Business Gateway Edinburgh

Suzie McCafferty, Platinum Wave Franchising

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