50 of the UK’s leading women entrepreneurs backed by Innovate UK for game-changing ideas and our founder is one of them!
From using plants to recover metal from contaminated land to deploying satellite data to detect long-lost archaeological sites, and from an artificial intelligence that curbs your unhealthy cravings to 3D-printed bionic prosthetics, Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards will empower 50 pioneering women to scale their innovative businesses.
From Aberdeen to Portsmouth and Belfast to Cambridge, this year’s winners of Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards are developing novel solutions to major social, environmental and economic challenges. Each winner will benefit from a £50,000 grant, one-to-one business coaching, and a suite of networking, role modelling, and training opportunities.
Coinciding with International Women’s Day (Wednesday 8 March), the Awards reflect the government’s ambition to give more support to women innovators and business leaders.
Many of the winners’ innovations are borne from their own lived experiences. Including a new ‘gold class’ antibiotic, developed after witnessing a best friend dealing with the life-threatening effects of Antimicrobial Resistance. Also, a mother who struggled to find the right UK health therapies for her daughter’s rare genetic disorder, has created an AI platform that connects health therapists from around the world with potential clients.
Other winners are paving a path to net zero, with innovations including water-colour paints made from recycled cosmetics, techniques for recovering lead from used batteries, and bio-manufactured pigments for sustainable fashion.
The range of innovations are vast, from health tech to education and from protecting lives to playing music. The flagship Women in Innovation Awards is a key part of Innovate UK’s commitment to boosting the number of women entrepreneurs. Innovate UK will give all 50 trailblazers £50,000 and bespoke mentoring and coaching to enable them to scale-up their businesses.
GB Shared's CEO, Lisa Edge was one such winner awarded with a Women in Innovation Award 2022/23.Lisa said "For our model and innovative idea to be externally recognised at this level and rewarded in this way, is testament to our members and their shared activity and the current capability of our unique platforms.
We've shared, thousands of jobs, millions in funding, business connections and over £1bn in tender opportunities direct with members, those tenders are now being weighted against a businesses sustainable standing, we need to ensure businesses are educated, signposted, supported, accredited and positioned for commercial and competitive advantage in the UK's first sustainable supply chain register. This award will help us re-position our platforms to provide a standardised and sustainable UK supply chain to procure from."
Now in its sixth year, the competition drew a record number of 920 applications from women business leaders, 10% up from last year, reflecting the growing number of women-led businesses in the UK (according to theRose Review Progress 2023,20% of all UK businesses are now led by all-women teams).
Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation programme continues to support high-potential women business leaders from diverse backgrounds. With a passion to support underrepresented innovation talent, 22% of the winners are Black, Asian, or from another ethnic minority group and 12% have identified as disabled.
Emily Nott, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programmes at Innovate UK said, “Each year I am blown away by the brilliant ideas and talent we uncover through our Women in Innovation programme. Despite these challenging economic times, this year’s winners have shown great leadership, passion and resilience in driving their innovations forward. Innovate UK will work alongside them now to ensure they have the resources and support required to grow and scale their businesses, while encouraging a new generation of women to get involved in innovation, pursue their ambitions and transform our economy and society.”
Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK, said, “The Innovate UK Women in Innovation programme is an important part of our many activities to make a real difference to the talent and skills pipeline for UK business innovation by inspiring, involving and investing in greater diversity. I warmly congratulate all the Women in Innovation Award winners and look forward to keeping in touch as they progress.”
Details on all 50 women innovators can be found here:https://iuk.ktn-uk.org/programme/women-in-innovation/women-in-innovation-winners/
If you’re an inspiring women innovator, check out how Innovate UK could support you here:https://iuk.ktn-uk.org/programme/women-in-innovation/