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Five EVA winners from Cumbria

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Five businesswomen are thrilled to have put Cumbria on the map after scooping top prize at a highly prestigious awards ceremony.

Amy Onyango and Claire Mansfield, of Felltarn Friends, Kendal, Samantha Gargett, of Elton Business Ltd, Penrith, Alison Magee-Barker of AJ Lakes Consultancy, Windermere and Jules Natlacen of The Churchmouse at Barbon,  are now proud owners of a coveted 2018 Enterprise Vision Award (EVA).

The five winners fought off intense competition from successful entrepreneurs across the North West to scoop the Training and Coaching, Customer Services, Solo Business, Retail Industry and Outstanding Achievement categories respectively.

Coral Horn, organiser of the awards and founder of networking group, Pink Link Ladies, said: “What a fitting end to another fantastic awards ceremony.

“We were delighted to see the awards back in its rightful home of the Empress Ballroom. It is a truly, magical setting for what is probably the largest awards ceremony dedicated to female entrepreneurs outside London. The EVA’s are a spectacular event full of glamour and glitz – we definitely have more sequins on the night than Strictly!”

“Our eighth year was simply superb, we had thousands of entrants and I’d say that this year was perhaps the most fiercely contested yet.”

This year, the EVA’s Charity of the Year was the Pankhurst Trust, a small charity in Manchester which plays a huge role in history.

This was the home of Emmeline Pankhurst and birthplace of the Suffragette Movement. This year commemorates the centenary anniversary of women winning the right to vote.

Richard Lefton, from Lefton’s Group, who sponsored the Professional Services category, said: “It felt particularly fitting that we raise money for this charity; without these brave and determined women, the role of women in business may have been very different today.” The crowd raised £2,600 on the night for the Pankhurst Trust which will enable them to open more rooms to the public.

More than 550 guests turned out in force to celebrate another EVAs ceremony which took place in the picturesque Empress Ballroom at Blackpool Winter Gardens where 16 awards were presented.

Guests enjoyed a delicious three-course meal provided by Rowley’s and were left in the more than capable hands of MC Rebecca Jane and comedian Joey Blower.

“The EVAs is a truly amazing event I’m immensely proud to support,” Rebecca Jane said. “I know from speaking to the judges just how hard it was to separate the finalists this year. Year-on-year the standard keeps on improving, it was fabulous to see the excitement as these worthy winners collected their awards. Already the countdown is on for 2019!”

The awards were founded in 2011. For the sixth year running NatWest has supported the EVAs as the headline sponsor. Heather Waters, Enterprise Manager at NatWest added:

“The EVAs is a truly fantastic event celebrating the business successes of females across the North West. Each year, the standard of entries improves and that only produces yet more tremendous winners. The awards highlight the dedication that each woman has for their business. Whether you were a finalist or a winner, all the businesswomen should be proud of their achievements.”