Female Start-up of the Year 2019

The Female Start-up of the Year competition aims to showcase early stage female start-up entrepreneurs who are excelling in their industry.


Female Start-up of the Year 2019

On 18 October at the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs in Bristol, we'll be crowning the 2019 winner live on stage. They will receive amazing prizes to help them and their business flourish and grow.
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 five years old and have a maximum of 10 employees.

The three finalists

Meet your Female Start-up of the Year finalists! The three finalists will pitch live at Festival of Female Entrepreneurs on 18 October in front of a live audience and expert judges with the winner crowned Female Start-up of the Year 2019.

fsotyMolly Masters - Books that Matter

Books That Matter is a monthly subscription service delivering important pieces of literature and feminist trinkets to your door. Each month you will receive at least one piece of literature which enlightens your mind on themes of gender, race, culture, class, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, politics, or history, as well as at least two gifts by independent female-identifying or non-binary artists.

Instagram: @ booksthatmatteruk 

fsotyKay Suppamas – Leafage

Leafage was born from the simplest of desires; to connect people and to inspire and cultivate a love of nature. And so founder Kay Suppamas sought to revolutionise the way in which her city dwelling peers, who had limited access to their own green space, interacted with plant life.

Instagram: weareleafage

fsotyClaire Russell - playHOORAY!

playHOORAY! is all about equipping you with the tools to entertain your young children. You do not need a houseful of expensive toys to get the kids playing. It’s amazing what you can create with the items you already have around the house and eagle eye for play potential.

Instagram: @play.hooray

previous winners

fsoty The prizes

  • £1,000 Facebook advertising credit
  • A new XPS 15 laptop from Dell
  • 'Power your business with Square' which includes a Square Reader and Dock, plus £1,000 worth of free processing
  • A complimentary night’s stay at the Mercure Bristol Grand hotel, on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Two hour mentoring session from Enterprise nation adviser members:
    • Natalie Sherman, founder of Naturally Social - an advice session to improve your social media presence
    • Sophie Carefull, personal branding photographer - a 90-minute mentoring session to help you establish and grow a meaningful personal brand
    • On the Spot Accountants - an advice session to help manage your small business tax
  • A free press release announcing your victory written and distributed by JournoLink
  • A 90 minute business coaching session with accredited coach Kim Sprague, founder of Flamingo Life. Kim has kindly agreed to offer this prize to the three Female Start-up of the Year finalists. Instagram: @flamingolifeuk 
  • Two tickets to Enterprise Nation's StartUp 2020 event in London
  • Profile on the Enterprise Nation blog and social media
  • PLUS the prestigious title of Enterprise Nation Female Start-up of the Year 2019

fsotyThe judges

  • Martina McDonnell, head of SMB marketing EMEA, Facebook
  • Ruth Bradford, founder, Little Black & White Book Project
  • Mike Jackson, investor & entrepreneur
  • Emma Jones, founder, Enterprise Nation

fsoty Competition timeline

  • Thursday 1 August: Competition opens for entries
  • Friday 13 September: Applications close at 5pm
  • Wednesday 18 September: 10 finalists announced and public voting opens
  • Wednesday 9 October: Public voting closes at 5pm
  • Friday 11 October: Three finalists announced
  • Friday 18 October: Festival of Female Entrepreneurs live pitch

Terms and conditions

  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK
  • All information submitted in your entry will be shared with the judging panel
  • Finalists must have a ticket to attend the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs in Bristol on 18 October 2019
  • The applicant's start-up must be a UK based company with no more than 10 employees that has been trading for up to five 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 Friday 13 September at 5pm
  • Got questions? Email [email protected] for support

fsoty Find out more about the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs and book a ticket.

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