5th October 2017

Finalists for the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award have been announced today on International Women’s Day. In its 44th year, the awards honour and celebrate women impacting different aspects of business today.

The flagship Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award, which has recognised some of the UK’s most prolific female business leaders – from Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop to Marjorie Scardino, the first female CEO of a FTSE 100 business, has two nominees:

  • Alison Brittain, CEO, Whitbread
  • Sophi Tranchell, CEO, Divine Chocolate

The finalists selected by the independent judging panel demonstrated the strongest evidence of satisfying all nomination criteria. Christine Hodgson, member of the judging panel and Chairman of Capgemini outlined notable achievements:

“Both women represent the diverse nature of business today. Alison, in her role at both Lloyds and now as CEO of Whitbread, has demonstrated how successful women can reach the top of large organisations and work across very different sectors. Through Sophi’s inspirational leadership of Divine Chocolate, she has built a successful, innovative business, and a strong brand whilst challenging the status quo and proving business can be done differently.”

New for 2017, the finalists for the first Veuve Clicquot Social Purpose Award, introduced to honour businesswomen and other women leaders whose organisations are championing social purpose are announced. The award mirrors Madame Clicquot’s passion for creating and curating strong, longstanding business relationships, loyalty, and a commitment to business beyond profit.

The finalists are:

  • Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre
  • Shauneen Lambe, Founder and Executive Director, Just For Kids Law

All finalists selected by the Veuve Clicquot Social Purpose Award judging panel demonstrated impressive evidence of satisfying all areas of the nomination criteria, including business acumen, leadership and a commitment to a social purpose.

Panel member, Ruthie Rogers, Founder, River Café, outlines more detail on the two nominees:

“This award is a celebration of how organisations can positively impact society. Jude Kelly and Shauneen Lambe, as its first two nominees, are clear examples of how business and leaders can impact and make a significant difference to society. Jude Kelly has revolutionised the Southbank Centre over the past decade and has created a platform to champion women through the annual WOW – Women of the World festival. Shauneen Lambe, with her charity, Just For Kids Law, is providing a service for young people in crisis by giving them legal assistance and other support, innovating in a sector that is notoriously resistant to change.”

The finalists for the fifth Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award are also announced today. This category recognises the pioneers of tomorrow’s successful businesses.

The finalists are:

  • Alice Bentinck, Founder, Entrepreneur First
  • Samantha Payne, Founder, Open Bionics

Mirroring the early years of Madame Clicquot, who at the age of 27, took over the House of Veuve Clicquot, the winner of this award demonstrates a fearless approach in optimising a gap in today’s market and bringing an innovative offer and approach to business. Kathryn Parsons, Founder and CEO, Decoded and the first winner of the New Generation Award stated the reasoning for the panel’s choices:

Alice Bentinck’s ambition to offer ambitious, technical individuals viable funding opportunities to become entrepreneurs, straight out of academia and industry gives the UK a pipeline of revolutionary founders for the future. Samantha Payne is harnessing the power of code, robotics and 3D printing with her work in prosthetics at Open Bionics transforming traditional processes within her industry”

All finalists selected by the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award judging panel demonstrated impressive evidence of satisfying all areas of the nomination criteria, including entrepreneurship, innovation and a strong sense of corporate social responsibility.

Julie Nollet, Marketing & Communication Director, Moët Hennessy UK, commented:  

“We are proud to announce the shortlist for the 2017 Business Woman Awards on International Women’s Day. This year’s nominees importantly reflect the diversity of business thriving in the UK today. Madame Clicquot was one of the world’s first female entrepreneurs and even in the 19th century, demonstrated tremendous business acumen, innovation and desire to succeed. It is incredible to see that all of our nominees exhibit these same attributes over two hundred years later.”

The winners of the three awards will be announced on Tuesday 9th May 2017 at a reception in The Ballroom at Claridge’s. The award’s high-profile judging panel is comprised of business leaders from various industries, including, Caroline Michel, CEO of Peters, Frasers & Dunlop, Ruth Rogers, Co-founder of River Café, Matthew Gwyther, Editor of Management Today, Stephen Quinn, Publishing Director of Vogue, and Moira Benigson, Founder of MBS Group.

About Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards

The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award, now in its 44th year, celebrates entrepreneurial women who have made a significant contribution to business life in the UK. The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award nomination criteria are those ideals epitomised by Madame Clicquot: Entrepreneurship, financial success, Corporate Social Responsibility and acting as a role model.

Created in 1972 in France and then introduced to the UK in 1974, as a tribute to Madame Clicquot and now operating in 27 countries, the annual Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award champions the success of business women worldwide who share the same qualities as Madame Clicquot; her enterprising spirit, her courage and the determination necessary to accomplish her aims.

Join us online: Facebook – Veuve Clicquot UK, Twitter – @VeuveClicquotUK #bwa2017

For further information on the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award programme and Veuve Clicquot, please contact:

Anna Zabow

Antidote Communications


Telephone: 0203 740 4009

Katie Crawford

Senior PR and Communications Manager

Veuve Clicquot


Telephone: 0207 808 4492