Female Start-up of the Year

On 20 October at the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs, we'll be crowning the next Enterprise Nation Female Start-up of the Year! Taking place in Bristol, the competition is powered by Facebook. A winner will be announced live on stage at the event and receive amazing prizes to help them and their business flourish and grow.

Apply today for the chance to win!  For more information on how to enter, this year's criteria and our panel of judges, take a look below:


We created the accolade in 2015 to shine the spotlight on an early stage start-up entrepreneur who is excelling in their industry. Whether it's creating an innovative product or disrupting a traditional marketplace, you'll have a clear vision for the direction of your business as well as ambitious plans for growth. Your company will be less than three years old and have a maximum of 10 employees.

The previous winner's: 

  • 2016: Mel Bound, founder, This Mum Runs
  • 2015: Chloe Tingle, founder, No More Taboo

To enter you need to have a ticket to the Festival and a valid Enterprise Nation membership and fill out the form below by 5pm on Thursday 5 October.

Enterprise Nation will shortlist three business owners to pitch live on stage at the event. Those who are successful will be notified on Friday 13 October with a full brief for their live pitch.

The pitching will take place at 4.30pm on 20 October in Bristol. Each company will be given three minutes to pitch followed by six minutes of questions from a panel of judges. The chosen winner will be announced during the evening drinks reception.

  • Helen Smyth, head of SMB community engagement, Facebook
  • Mel Bounds, founder, This Mum Runs
  • Mike Jackson, investor, entrepreneur & director of scale-ups at Shaw & Co
  • Sharron Gunn, executive director, ICAEW
  • Alison Edgar, The Entrepreneur's Godmother
  • Carolyn Radford, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Mansfield Town FC

  • £500 Facebook advertising credit
  • Quarterly business mentoring for a year from KPMG
  • £200 Treatwell voucher to spend on a beauty or spa treatment from Direct Line for Business
  • Two Dua LIpa tickets at an O2 Academy of the winners choice from O2 Business
  • Signed cycling top by Laura Kenny, the most successful female British Olympian, from HSBC
  • 'Power your business with Square' -  includes a Square reader and Dock (worth £58+VAT) plus £1k worth of free processing
  • A one hour consultation and lunch with Clive Lewis, head of enterprise at ICAEW and a £100 voucher to spend at PC World
  • Two tickets to Enterprise Nation's ScaleUp event in London
  • Mentoring from Mel Bound, Enterprise Nation Female Start-up of the Year 2016
  • Profile on the Enterprise Nation blog and social media
  • PLUS the prestigious title of Enterprise Nation Female Start-up of the Year 2017

The competition is now closed to entries.

We received some amazing applications and here are the Enterprise Nation members selected to pitch for the title and some brilliant prizes. 

The Female Start-up of the Year competition is kindly supported by Facebook and the She Means Business campaign.

When women do better, economies do better. That's why Facebook is celebrating women who have built and run businesses, and delivering resources to help those who might one day do so themselves.

  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK.
  • All information submitted in your entry will be shared with the judging panel.
  • Applicants must have a ticket to the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs and a valid Enterprise Nation membership
  • The applicant's start-up must be a UK based company with no more than 10 employees that has been trading for up to three 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 5pm on Thursday 5 October 2017.
  • Got questions? Email Lorna Bladen at hello@enterprisenation.com for support.

To find out more about the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs and purchase your ticket, click here.