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Veuve Clicquot highlights leading women entrepreneurs in Bold Woman Award shortlist

 (Courtesy of Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Awards 2023)
(Courtesy of Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Awards 2023)

The French luxury wine and spirit company Veuve Clicquot has announced its annual shortlist of influential women entrepreneurs.

On Wednesday (8 March), International Women’s Day, the brand announced this year’s roster of women in business taking new approaches to fashion, finance, investment and manufacturing, for the 51st year in a row.

Veuve Clicquot has repeatedly expressed its long-standing commitment to female leadership. Madame Clicquot, known as the “Grande Madame of champagne” took over the reins of the company aged 27, after her husband, the brand’s owner, passed away.

Taking inspiration from Madame Clicquot’s legacy, the company now aims to champion women in business and recognises outstanding female leadership through its Bold Woman Award, which has been running since 1972.


Previously, the awards have recognised notable trailblazers including Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, the inventor of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid vaccine; Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-Op Food and the late Iraqi-British architect Dame Zaha Hadid.

Among the finalists for this year’s Bold Woman Award is Tessa Clarke, the co-founder and CEO of Olio, a waste-busting app network allowing local people to connect and give away their unwanted items instead of throwing them away. Last month, the app reached 7 million users and has been used to share more than 92 million portions of food.

Elsewhere on the Bold Woman shortlist is Claire Hornby, the founder of British clothing brand ME+EM, and Louise Hill, the co-founder of GoHenry, a pre-paid debit card and financial education app that provides tools to children and young adults about money.

Another category is The Bold Future Award, which recognises up-and-coming leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Izzy Obeng, the founder and CEO of non-profit Foundervine (Courtesy of Veuve Clicquot)
Izzy Obeng, the founder and CEO of non-profit Foundervine (Courtesy of Veuve Clicquot)

Izzy Obeng, the founder and CEO of Foundervine, a non-profit which strives to remove social and economic barriers to innovation, has made the shortlist. Meanwhile, Victoria Prew, the founder and CEO of clothes rental service HURR has also been recognised for her commercial innovation.

Karen Scofield Seal, the person behind Oceanium, a startup that develops innovative materials and food products from seaweed for environmental and social benefit, has been shortlisted for her fundraising for various wildlife and climate charities.

Karen Scofield Seal, the CEO and co-founder behind Oceanium (Courtesy of Veuve Clicquot)
Karen Scofield Seal, the CEO and co-founder behind Oceanium (Courtesy of Veuve Clicquot)

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 31 May. Judges on the panel include Pip Jamieson, founder of The Dots; Sian Westerman, co-chair at British Fashion Council Trust; and Naomi Kerbel, former global head of TV and radio at Bloomberg.

Along with the shortlist, Veuve Clicquot has highlighted the barriers that women entrepreneurs face in the UK often revolve around lack of funding. Its research has found that the UK has one of the larger entrepreneurial gender gaps worldwide, which is the difference in the number of male and female-owned businesses.

Read The Independent’s Influence List for International Women’s Day 2023 here.