Meet the 2021 finalists

Thousands of you voted for your favourite female founder of 2021. The three female founders with the most votes are revealed below and will pitch live on 22 October 2021.

The pitching will take place at the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs in Bristol and online.


Hear from last year's finalist

"Pitching in the Female Start-Up of the Year 2020 finals - less than a year after launching my breakfast delivery business, Oatsu - has to be my proudest moment of 2020!

I was delighted to have been shortlisted as a semi-finalist, and overjoyed to learn I'd reached the final three businesses, out of hundreds of applicants.

During the finals, I loved sharing my journey from finance professional to food business owner with the judges, and was incredibly inspired by fellow finalists Jess and Dominique's stories.

Becoming a Female Start-Up of the Year finalist has given me a great boost in confidence, and has made me even more determined to continue growing my breakfast business!"

Lauren O'Donnell, founder at Oatsu and 2020 finalist

Competition timeline


25 August to 22 September

Nominations open


24 September to 8 October

Public voting


11 October

Three finalists announced


22 October

Live pitching at Festival of Female Entrepreneurs in Bristol



  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK
  • Applicants must be Enterprise Nation members - sign up for free
  • All information submitted in your entry will be shared with the judging panel
  • Finalists must have a ticket to join the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs on 22 October 2021
  • Finalists must be available to pitch live at Festival of Female Entrepreneurs on 22 October 2021
  • Must be a UK based company with no more than 10 employees that has been trading for up to 5 years
  • Only one application per applicant may be submitted
  • All questions within the application form must be answered in order for the application to qualify
  • All applications must be submitted by Wednesday 22 September at 5pm

Got questions? Email for support

Business boosting prizes

Award-winning Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 laptop, kindly gifted by Dell Technologies

A year's legal subscription to Harper James Solicitors' Enterprise Plan, including 12 hours of legal support worth over £2000

Six month letterbox flower subscription from leading online flower company, Bloom & Wild with different flowers each month

A 60 minute strategy coaching session with award-winning entrepreneur and business coach Jess Salamanca from Moxie Club

A one hour advice session on Facebook ads with Jo Francis, Jo Francis Biz and PR with Rhea Freeman, Rhea Freeman PR

Level up on LinkedIn: Online course worth £197 kindly gifted to the winner and finalists by LinkedIn trainer and strategist Jennifer Corcoran

'Power your business with Square' which includes a Square reader, dock, and £1000 worth of free processing* terms and conditions apply

Two tickets to Enterprise Nation's StartUp 2022 event

Profile on the Enterprise Nation blog and social media

A three-hour mentoring session with TSB on financial planning for success, business planning and marketing