Julie Wilson & Amy Livingstone of Edinburgh based Cheeky Chompers, has been named winner of The Demeter Award, awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business trading from 3 to 5 years at the 2017 NatWest everywoman Awards.
Julie & Amy are manufacturers of the world’s first chewable dribble bib for teething tots, which has just sold its millionth product.
From a simple idea inspired by their own experience of having to constantly re-sanitise their children’s dropped teethers, Julie and Amy spotted a gap in the market and created Cheeky Chompers. After personally designing the bibs, sourcing the best materials and testing each product for quality, Cheeky Chompers hit the shelves in 2013 and can now be found in some of the UK’s best-loved retailers such as John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.
Research from NatWest shows that in 2003 when the NatWest everywoman Awards were launched, women were on average starting 60,000 businesses per year. Today, this number has increased to 126,000 and these female-owned businesses are now delivering £3.51 billion to the British economy, which amounts to 7.3% of the UK’s economic growth. It is predicted that by 2020, 50% of the working population will be self-employed, making everywoman’s mission to encourage and support women to build growth businesses as timely as it has ever been.
Speaking about the winners, Maxine Benson MBE, Co-founder at everywoman comments, “When we launched the NatWest everywoman Awards programme 15 years ago, we could only imagine the number and the quality of success stories that would be shared on this platform.
“Every year we meet pioneering and innovative women who have overcome many challenges to build incredibly successful businesses. The women we have celebrated at these awards over the years – as embodied by the 15 ambassadors we welcomed back this year – have, quite literally, redefined British business and we look forward to continuing to work with them in order to super charge our ongoing efforts to drive forward women in business. We want to congratulate this year’s winners and finalists who will go on to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs contributing immensely to the UK economy and demonstrate that with fearlessness and boldness, anything is possible”.
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest says, “We are very proud to recognise these women, who are not just successful in their own businesses, but are also great role models.
“The importance of women in business cannot be underestimated, so we hope these role models will inspire other women to take their first steps in business. To help these entrepreneurs and would-be business owners, NatWest has a network of over 450 externally accredited Women in Business specialists who understand our customers’ ambitions and provide business advice, mentoring and networking opportunities.”