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Recognising women in business since 1972, the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award has been celebrating talented women for the past 47 years. Having honoured some of the UK’s most outstanding business women over the years; including Liv Garfield, former FTSE 100 youngest female CEO to renowned architect, Dame Zaha Hadid.

Created in 1972 in France and then introduced to the UK in 1974, as a tribute to Veuve Clicquot’s ‘Grand Dame’ herself, Madame Clicquot; a visionary and businesswoman ahead of her time. Her innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit embodies the meaning behind the award’s three categories: The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award, New Generation Award and Social Purpose Award.

This year marks a new format for the iconic event, with the panel of winners hosted through a new ‘in conversation’ format. Guests of Veuve Clicquot will have the opportunity to inspire and be inspired on the evening with a gathering of remarkable business talents.

Taking place on the 23rd May 2019 at The Design Museum, London, three talented women will be awarded from a round-up of the who’s who of British female talent. This year’s finalists have been named as follows:

The 2019 Business Woman Award:

  • Alex Mahon, CEO, Channel 4
  • Jo Whitfield, Retail Chief Executive, Co-op

The judging panel praised Alex Mahon’s determination in strengthening Channel 4 in a changing media environment, while being the first female CEO of a major UK broadcaster. While Jo Whitfield’s work innovating in the grocery sector, as well as being the first female CEO of a British food retailer was also applauded.

Moira Benigson, member of the judging panel and Founder of The MBS Group, outlined notable achievements:

"What is really brilliant about this year’s finalists for the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award is that they are trailblazers within their respective industries... But beyond this, they are strong champions of women in the workplace, leading successful and thriving businesses."

The Social Purpose Award:

  • Sherry Coutu CBE, Founder and CEO, Founders4Schools
  • Cecilia Crossley, Founder, From Babies with Love

2019 welcomes the continuation of the Veuve Clicquot Social Purpose Award, introduced in 2017. Which celebrates business women championing social purpose beyond their core business objectives, encapsulating Madame Clicquot’s passion for fostering long-standing business relationships, and a commitment to business beyond profit.

Both finalists were noted for their core social responsibilities. For Sherry, this is evident in her work enabling young people to make informed decisions about their future by connecting them to leaders of successful businesses. For Cecilia, her social purpose sits at the heart of her business, with 100% of all profits from baby clothing sales donated to initiatives that help orphaned children across the world.

Jude Kelly CBE, first ever winner of the Social Purpose Award and founder of the Southbank Centre’s Women of World Festival, commented:

“The nature of business is becoming more purpose-driven and I'm proud to be part of a platform that champions women who are leading this change. In today's business environment, it is critical that we not only celebrate those who are innovating and creating new concepts for social good, but those who are focused on improving the prospects of the next generation.”

The New Generation Award:

  • Susie Ma, Founder & CEO, Tropic Skincare
  • Poppy Gustafsson, co-founder and CEO, Darktrace

Now in its sixth year, The Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award recognises the pioneers of tomorrow’s successful businesses and continues to work hard to discover and celebrate new female talent in the UK. Reflecting core attributes that Madame Clicquot exhibited in her formative years, such as a fearless approach and innovative thinking to achieve her goals.

Impressed by both candidates’ abilities to drive business growth through innovation, judges noted that Poppy has driven significant growth for Darktrace by being the first company to offer cybersecurity based on AI. While Susie at Tropic Skincare has driven a multi-award-winning natural skincare brand in a busy market through her social selling framework.

Cassandra Stavrou, member of the judging panel and Founder of Propercorn, commented on the nominees:

"This year's New Generation shortlist represents the huge breadth of expertise coming into the business world from the next generation of female leaders. Both Poppy and Susie are at the top of their game in their respective sectors, with innovation that shines through in the strength of their companies.”

While Julie Nollet, Marketing & Communications Director, Moët Hennessy UK, commented:

“The nominees this year demonstrate outstanding ability to forge business success in the face of rapidly changing business landscapes, encapsulating the determination shown by our founder, Madame Clicquot in achieving her business goals… we at Moët Hennessy are proud to continue her legacy of business acumen, innovation and desire to succeed.”

This year’s high-profile judging panel is comprised of elite business leaders from various industries, including Caroline Michel, CEO of Peters, Frasers & Dunlop, Casandra Stavros, CEO of ProperCorn, Sian Westermann, Senior Adviser in Rothschild & Co's Global Advisory division, Vanessa Kingori, Publisher of British Vogue, and Moira Benigson, Founder of MBS Group. The winners of the three awards will be announced on Thursday 23rd May 2019, at The Design Museum London, between 7.00pm and 09.30pm.