Women's Achievements Recognised with Awards

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Byline: AWARDS Ruth Lognonne ? 0191 201 6139 ? ruth.lognonne@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE achievements of the region's most inspirational women in business were recognised at a glittering awards ceremony last night.

The winners of the 13th annual North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards were announced during the ceremony at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel.

The much-coveted Susan Dobson Award for Entrepreneurship was picked up by Kari Owers, chief executive of PR agency OPR.

This year's newly-introduced Key Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Darlington Building Society, went to Paula Gascoigne for her Smile for Life Children's Charity, and Liz Prudhoe came top in the North East Social Enterprise Partnership-sponsored Best Social Enterprise category with her company, Adapt (North East).

The Best Small Business category was picked up by Sarah Pittendrigh, managing director of Simply Bows & Chair Covers, while Best New Business was awarded to Kay Gould, founder of Curtains Made For Free Ltd.

Meanwhile, Jules Quinn, hard-working owner of design-led tea company The TeaShed, picked up the award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

The other winners included Nicola Cook of Aurora Training, who won Best Home Based Business, and Danielle Dunn of Danielle Dunn Creative Agency, who was presented with the NETPark Net-sponsored Best Use of Technology Award for her employment of technology in developing her business.

Nickie Gott, Women into the Network (WIN) chairwoman and founder of events management company She's Gott It!, which organises the annual awards, said: "It was extremely difficult to select this year's winners as once again the standard was extremely high.

"I would like to congratulate all of the winners and the shortlisted companies for overcoming the recession and showing incredible entrepreneurship and leadership skills in this difficult economic climate. …