WOMEN URGED TO ENTER TOP AWARD.
FEMALE entrepreneurs across Coventry and Warwickshire are being urged to put themselves forward for a prestigious award this month.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the local Chamber, was a finalist last year in the Businesswoman of the Year awards which were won by Suzie Norton, former chief executive of Screen WM.
Other previous winners include Karren Brady, who is one of Sir Alan Sugar's trusted aides on The Apprentice and vice-chairman at West Ham United, Sarah Tremellen, founder and chief executive of Bravissimo, and Perween Warsi, founder of S&A Foods.
Entries are now open for the 29th annual competition with the winner announced at the Vitalise Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Friday, October 14.
Louise, who has received an OBE for her service to enterprise and has been at the helm of the Chamber for eight years, said businesswomen were often guilty of being modest about their achievements.
"There are a huge number of businesswomen either running their own businesses or at the top of multi-national organisations who deserve to have their successes highlighted," she said.
"The Businesswoman of the Year awards has always underlined the tremendous achievements that women show every day in their professional lives, sometimes having had to overcome adversity or personal difficulties.
"We all want to encourage the next generation of businesswomen and hearing about their stories which this competition generates can often be the catalyst.
"It seems it is natural for women not to put themselves forward but I would encourage any businesswoman to overcome their natural shyness and enter the awards."
Judy Groves, the awards chairperson, said the standard of entries received so far was as high as always.
"We have received nominations from women of varying ages and backgrounds for these awards," she said.
"This remains the top business award for women outside London and we are delighted with the interest they have generated once again."
The nomination deadline for the awards is Friday and entry forms and tickets, costing pounds 60 which includes a three-course lunch, can be downloaded from www.womenoftheyear-uk.com