Shortlist for the Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award announced

(L-R) Meribeth Parker, Lyndsey Simpson, Jenny Biggam, Francesca Brady, Sharmadean Reid, Elaine Bedell, Tracy Blackwell, Kristina Blahnik @ _24 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Shortlist Reveal. Raccoon Photography © @anett

Veuve Clicquot has announced the finalists for the 2024 Bold Woman and Bold Future Awards. Now in its 52nd year, the awards are the longest running international awards of its kind, showcasing outstanding UK female entrepreneurship and innovation through key events across the world. Bold by Veuve Clicquot supports women entrepreneurs and gives them a voice, encouraging future generations to be even more audacious. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London June 13.

The 2024 winners will walk in the footsteps of some of the most impressive female entrepreneurs including: Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, the inventor of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-Op Food, Poppy Gustafsson OBE, co-CEO of Darktrace and Tessa Clarke, co-founder and CEO of Olio.

The Bold Woman Award celebrates outstanding achievements by inspirational women with a proven track record of institutional and personal success. The finalists selected by the esteemed panel of judges are:

  • Elaine Bedell – Elaine is the CEO of the Southbank Centre, London’s renowned creative hub and the UK’s 5th most visited attraction. As the first female CEO in the Southbank Centre’s 66-year history, Elaine has continued to protect investment, resulting in 40% of events being free to attend. She has also brought in new income streams, hosting popular cultural events including the BAFTA Awards and BFI’s London Film Festival.
  • Jenny Biggam – Jenny founded the7stars in 2005 and swiftly turned it into the UK’s largest independent media agency, managing over £450m of billings for clients including Gousto, TSB, H&M, Nintendo and Royal Mail. Under Jenny’s leadership, the7stars has been named one of the top companies to work for by Best Companies for ten consecutive years and has also won Campaign’s Independent Media Agency of the Year 2023 and Campaign’s Best Places To Work: Top 5 Large Companies Winner 2023.
  • Tracy Blackwell – Tracy is the CEO of Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), a specialist insurance company which pays the pensions of 350,000 people. Tracy co-founded PIC in 2006, and under her leadership PIC has grown into a FTSE100-sized company, with a portfolio of £45 billion, of which about £12 billion is invested in the UK’s infrastructure.

The Bold Future Award recognises and celebrates ambitious up-and-coming female entrepreneurs. The finalists chosen from a field of hundreds of applicants were:

  • Francesca Brady – Francesca is the co-founder and CEO of AirRated, an organisation that certifies indoor air quality, providing AirScores to buildings in which we live, work and play. The AirScore is designed to provide peace of mind about our indoor spaces and communicate indoor air health to everyone. Francesca has gained recognition from Forbes 30 under 30 for heightening awareness of the link between indoor air quality and health.
  • Lyndsey Simpson – Lyndsey is the founder and CEO of 55/Redefined, champion for the over-50s. Challenging the status quo, Lyndsey advocates for age diversity, positivity and inclusion across all areas of life through three pillars.  Life/Redefined and Jobs/Redefined empowers the over-50s with jobs from age-inclusive employers, inspirational stories and lifestyle content. And Work/Redefined enables businesses to attract, grow and engage with over-50s talent. Lyndsey is on a mission to change the world of work and the perception of lived experience, in light of the ageing population.

Jean-Marc Gallot, President of Veuve Clicquot, commented: “This year we had a record number of nominees and our shortlist are courageous, determined and visionary. Channelling the ideals of Madame Clicquot, they are leading their businesses to great success. They stand as role models for future generations of female entrepreneurs, making societal impact alongside commercial success.”

Sharmadean Reid, founder of The Stack World, former Future Award winner and judge for the awards this year commented: “This year’s shortlist showcases female entrepreneurs excelling financially and making a real impact, all while breaking barriers in heavily male-dominated industries. These women are not just redefining success; they’re smashing the glass ceiling and shaping a future that matters.”

The award’s judging panel is comprised of a mixture of industry leaders and networkers including Kristina Blahnik, CEO of Manolo Blahnik; Sian Westerman, co-chair at British Fashion Council Trust; Pip Jamieson, founder of The Dots; Naomi Kerbel, Director of Communications at SEC Newgate and Pippa Lamb, Partner at Sweet Capital.

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

Veuve Clicquot has also launched a Bold Open Database, the first global, open and innovative database, aimed to bring together female entrepreneurs worldwide. Designed with a scientific, economic and social approach, the Bold Open Database brings visibility to a previously unseen group, a source of data surrounding female entrepreneurs and their businesses for investors, journalists and fellow founders.

For more information on the Bold Open Database, click here.

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024