7 November 2016
FINALISTS ANNOUNCED IN 2016 NATWEST EVERYWOMAN AWARDS
Hannah Uruci of BRS Cleaning Contractors from London makes national awards shortlist
22 extraordinary women whose vision and tenacity have driven their entrepreneurial success have been named as this year’s finalists in the 14th annual NatWest everywoman Awards, the UK’s most prestigious event celebrating the achievements of women business owners.
Hannah Uruci of BRS Cleaning Contractors from London has been chosen as a finalist in the Artemis Award category, sponsored by Crystal Clear – this Award will go to the most inspirational woman running a business which has been trading for a minimum of 18 months up to 3 years.
At only 21 Hannah Uruci decided to open BRS, a commercial cleaning company with a niche for deep cleaning. Without any capital or prior business experience, she has grown the company from looking after end of tenancy cleans to providing services that span three main categories – end of tenancy cleans for the property industry, deep cleans and regular/contract cleaning for the commercial and industrial sector and after builder cleans for the construction industry. Hannah has had to continually educate herself and her employees in complex health and safety regulations in order to attain the industry accreditations that are needed to be able to provide such services, and holds her ground daily negotiating with surveyors in the construction industry, still very much a male dominated sector.
The company’s reputation as a quality cleaning service provider is rapidly growing and they are fast becoming known as experts in their field. Last summer BRS were awarded the builders cleaning package at a Ministry of Defence site, a turning point for the business, and they have recently secured construction giant Lend Lease as a client.
The surge of entrepreneurship has been one of the most encouraging business trends of the last decade with record numbers of new business registrations. The prospect of lighter regulation, lower corporation tax, an enviable pool of talent and venture capital funding makes the UK one of the easiest countries to launch and grow a business. Yet the rate of women-led business start-ups remains significantly lower than that of men – 5.7% versus 10%. Research undertaken by Deloitte suggests that targeted help for early stage women entrepreneurs could provide a £100bn boost to the UK economy over the next 10 years, proving the need to provide a better environment in which women-led entrepreneurial businesses will succeed at similar levels as for men, thereby benefiting the companies, stakeholders and, ultimately, the national economy. The FSB agrees, with its report by the Women’s Business Council suggesting that the UK is missing out on some 1.2 million enterprises due to the untapped business potential of women and recommends more visible and diverse role models as one of its seven key recommendations
Speaking about the finalists, everywoman Co-founder Maxine Benson MBE comments, “The ambition, success and humility of our finalists make them all strong accessible role models for other women and girls considering starting their own business. Gender has never been a barrier to great ideas or initiatives and this year’s finalists bear that out. We live in one of the best countries for entrepreneurship and there is no better place for enterprise to flourish, as our finalists prove. We wish them continued success and good luck!”
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest, said: “We are very proud to recognise these women, who are not just successful in their own businesses, but are also great role models. The importance of women in business cannot be underestimated, so we hope these role models will inspire other women to take their first steps in business. To help these entrepreneurs and would-be business owners, NatWest has a network of over 340 externally accredited Women in Business specialists who understand our customers’ ambitions and provide business advice, mentoring and networking opportunities.”
Sharon Hilditch MBE, Founder and CEO of Crystal Clear International, said: “We are very proud to be involved with everywoman and the work that they do to advance women in business. Sponsoring the Artemis award this year is fantastic, as it means we get to help recognise a relatively new business woman and her success so far. Having these kind of amazing achievements early on can really help spur you on and keep you going towards something even more wonderful!”
The awards were judged by 19 of the country’s most successful businesswomen including Chrissie Rucker MBE, Cath Kidston MBE, Julia Hands MBE, Amanda Wakeley OBE and Rosaleen Blair. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 7th December at a lunch reception at The Dorchester Hotel attended by over 300 leading figures from business, politics, the media and the City.
  Deloitte – Women entrepreneurs: developing collaborative ecosystems for success, April 2016
 FSB – Women in Enterprise: The Untapped Potential, April 2016
 World Bank rankings – UK sixth best place to do business, October 2015