Revealed: The 100 female entrepreneurs to watch

Erim Kaur, CEO and founder of ByErim

NatWest, in partnership with The Telegraph, has unveiled the results of the inaugural 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch, celebrating female entrepreneurship across the UK. The platform has been launched to highlight the most exciting up-and-coming female founders across the UK, and to help them with mentorship, workshops and networking opportunities.

With over 700 entries from women from all corners of the UK and across industries, The 100 demonstrates the talent and variety within the UK’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

From The 100 list, ten highly commended entrepreneurs from across the UK (spanning industries including hospitality, agriculture, finance, and manufacturing) will benefit from a package of guidance, which includes expert business advice and mentorship, grant funding and a host of additional benefits.

The Judges’ Choice was awarded to Erim Kaur, who stood out with her haircare business ByErim, due to her success in manufacturing and how she has been using technology to grow sales and attract new customers. As Judges’ Choice, Erim will receive a £10,000 investment grant from NatWest as well as a year’s mentorship from one of the industry leaders on the Rose Review board, who also acted as the judges for The 100.

Erim Kaur, CEO and founder of ByErim said: “I really believe I need to represent something for young, modern Sikh women – you barely see us in the media but we’re the future. I just felt so proud. I’m just really excited to be able to show everything that we have to the world because I think we deserve it. I’ve married the oldest form of business – which is creating your own product – to the newest form of marketing – which is being an influencer.”

The 100 partnership between NatWest and The Telegraph was inspired by the work of the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, which was originally published in 2019. It showed that there were significant barriers preventing women from founding and scaling businesses at the same rate as men, but that if these challenges could be addressed and overcome, £250 billion could be unlocked for the UK economy.

The launch of The 100 coincides with new YouGov research commissioned by the Rose Review which shows that whilst female business leaders are cautious about the economic challenges ahead, they remain broadly positive about their own company’s individual prospects. The study found that 80% of female business leaders and entrepreneurs don’t feel confident about economic growth over the next 12 months and 44% expect fundraising will become more difficult in the coming months. However, female business leaders and entrepreneurs are more confident about their own business prospects than the growth of the broader economy (46% are not confident for their own business prospects versus 84% who lack confidence in the economy).

The panel of judges for The 100 included key members from the Rose Review Board, including Alison Rose, Group CEO, NatWest; Debbie Wosskow OBE, co-founder of AllBright; Emma Davies, CEO of Octopus Ventures; and Jenny Tooth OBE, chief executive at UK Business Angels Association, as well as Yvonne Grieves, Director of Women in Business, NatWest Group; Stephen Pegge, Managing Director, Commercial Finance at UK Finance; and the Telegraph’s executive lifestyle editor, Caroline Barrett-Haigh, and its deputy head of lifestyle and weekend, Victoria Young.