Plus X Brighton
In past awards in Brighton and Hove, Sussex and Surrey, shockingly just 26% have been won by women. Platinum Media’s Dynamic Awards has been established to buck that trend, specifically designed to recognise the incredible achievements and innovations of businesswomen of Sussex.
The awards bring together the area’s business leaders, founders and changemakers and are an empowering evening celebrating the bold women making waves in their field; the fourteen awards honour achievements across all facets of business, from personal successes to outstanding contributions.
After dusting off our glad rags and getting suitably glammed up, BRITE team members from Plus X Brighton and the University of Brighton Samantha Harland, Judith Badger, Jim Hodge, and Alex Valeri headed to The Grand Hotel in Brighton to attend one of the area’s most important business award ceremonies. This year, BRITE was incredibly proud to sponsor the Innovator of the Year award this year, which champions women who are on a mission to make a meaningful and lasting impact on a global scale.
We were thrilled to see four trailblazing businesswomen from the Plus X community nominated for awards, including Carolina Avellaneda, Managing Partner of BubbleLife; We Are The Joyful’s Alice Reeves and Sophie J Turton (meet them at our Ask the Xperts advice sessions!); and Ekaterina Blake, Founder of InspoHub. Every one of them equally deserved this recognition for their pioneering and groundbreaking impact on the local business scene.
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees – we’re completely in awe of your important work. And a huge thank you to Platinum Media Group for putting on a great night!
Check out the winners below and learn more about just some of the powerful work happening in Brighton, Sussex and Surrey by these truly inspirational winners.
Carolina Avellaneda, Co-Founder of BubbleLife
An innovator in the Plus X community, Carolina Avellaneda, is the Founder and Director of the game-changing company, BubbleLife. With vast experience working with NGOs and Intergovernmental Organisations in rural development, Carolina turned her attention to sustainable and biodegradable packaging solutions when she co-founded BubbleLife in 2019.
Now responsible for researching and developing packaging alternatives for the business, winning the Innovator of the Year Award recognises the significant strides Carolina has made in her field and outstanding achievements so far.
The Innovator of the Year Award was sponsored by BRITE, and judged by BRITE’s very own Samantha Harland. On the night, Samantha said: “The winner of Innovator of the Year is someone who is on a mission – a mission to eradicate plastic within the personal care sector, and their innovative new process has attracted interest from some impressively large global organisations. Her expertise in biology and chemistry has helped put this company at the forefront of the sustainable revolution.”
Julie Kapsalis, Chair at Coast to Capital
Winner of the CSR Excellence award, Julie Kapsalis was recognised for her and her team’s strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. Coast to Capital supports SMEs in areas across Sussex and Surrey, with Julie acting as Chair.
With an impressive 20 years working in economic development and community engagement, Julie joined the Board of Coast to Capital in 2013 before being appointed Chair in 2020. Her tireless work supporting women’s enterprises has seen her serve as an advisor for the UK Government’s Women Enterprise Taskforce.
Aneela Rose, Founder of Rose Media Group
Having worked for over 25 years delivering brand positioning campaigns within the manufacturing and engineering sector, Rose Media Group was born in 2016. B2B PR agency Rose Media Group works with brands in the industry, with a strong focus on sustainability and working toward the collective goal of reaching Net-Zero.
Founder Aneela Rose was presented with the Inspirational Award, an accolade celebrating exceptional individuals working ambassadors for women through their extraordinary dedication, personal achievements and service to others through mentorship, philanthropy and business.
Vicki Taggart, Senior Business Unit Head at Haybury
At executive search consultancy Haybury, Vicki Taggart’s expertise lies in recruiting VPs, Directors and Senior Management for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, CRO, and medical device companies, attracting senior executive talent on a local and global scale.
This award celebrates Vicki’s achievements and work within HR and Recruitment, where she has helped enhance the sector through education, training, leadership, mentoring and acting as a role model.
Mo Kanjilal, Co-Creator of Watch This Sp_ce
Mo Kanjilal’s tireless work leading change management, diversity, inclusion and employee engagement programmes across various sectors led to her co-creating Watch This Sp_ce in 2020 alongside Allegra Chapman and Rachel Pearson. Watch This Sp_ce challenges and improves workplace culture, working to help businesses create diverse and inclusive teams where everyone can thrive.
Mo and the Watch This Sp_ce team were winners of the Startup of the Year Award. This award recognises those with inspirational entrepreneurial aptitude, vision, ambition, drive and commercial acumen that have helped them build a successful enterprise from startup.
— Rifa 🌞 (@rifa) July 1, 2022
Rifa Thorpe-Tracey is a coach, consultant and connector for the digital and creative industries – and now officially a Community Hero! Her work focuses on supporting women, helping them become more confident and fulfilled in their careers.
Alongside her role as Chief Community Officer at Wired Sussex, Rifa leads SheSays Brighton and the Brighton’s Women of Colour Facebook group. She is also the Festival Director for the Spring Forward Festival, a month-long celebration of the role of women in digital culture. Her incredible work saw her win the Community Hero Award, which honours individuals whose contribution to society has made a substantial difference in the lives of others.
Joanna Haslam, Design Director at Snap Finger Click
Multi-award-winning games designer Joanna Haslam can now add another honour to her trophy cabinet, after being handed the Creative Industries Award at the Dynamic Business Awards.
Her work as the Design Director for Snap Finger Click has seen her named as one of BAFTA’s Breakthrough UK and the winner of the DevelopHER Award for Innovation for her work on Snap Finger Click’s Live Show technology in 2021. The Creative Industries Award recognises Joanna’s work in taking a lead role in the creative industries, and shines a light on the great things women in business can achieve in this sector.
Ekaterina Blake, Founder of InspoHub
From their office in Plus X Brighton, InspoHub creates live experiences for companies looking to engage their audiences online and generates content that matters. Ekaterina Blake founded InspoHub in 2017 with a dream to create a workspace that mentors young creatives to surpass their potential.
The Young Professional of the Year award recognises Ekaterina as ‘one to watch’ and celebrates her achievements, tenacity, and determination to reach a level of business success that defies her age. Congratulations!
Carol Rigby, Partner at Cardens Accountants & Business Advisors
Established in 2006, Cardens Accountants uses their platform to strengthen and bolster local communities, while working hard to ensure they are an inclusive and progressive employer. They support local charities by donating 1% of their turnover to charities, hosting a yearly fundraiser and local pro bono work.
As a result, Carol Rigby and the team won the Employer of the Year Award, which celebrates businesses that have created a healthy and supportive work environment with a genuine commitment to the wellbeing of their employees.
Pam Loch, Managing Director of Loch Associates Group
Pam Loch founded the Loch Associates Group in 2007 and has always been passionate about supporting people and business. Pam received the Lawyer of the Year Award, recognising her outstanding contributions to her business.
The Group is based on the belief that “People are our business,” serving employees and employers alike. They provide expertise across a unique combination of employment law, HR, health and wellbeing and mediation and take an innovative and disruptive approach to their work.
Alex Bailey, Co-Founder of Bailey & French
Alex Bailey co-founded business management consultancy Bailey & French with a vision to humanise the world of work and impact the planet positively – a brilliant mission fitting of the Company of the Year! The company works with evolving and growing companies to empower their people to achieve their full potential, well-being and performance. They use research-based Applied Positive Psychology to inform their approach.
The Company of the Year Award honours businesses that act as an inspiration to others through their demonstration of growth, strong financial performance and constant innovation, supporting future growth.
Rachel Watkyn, Founder of Tiny Box Company
Rachel winning Businesswoman of the Year recognises her high degree of excellence and innovation and is a symbol of the great things women in business can achieve. Having overcome many challenges in her life, Rachel is Dragon Den’s most successful female entrepreneur, having grown the business to over 100,000 customers and becoming the most prominent online gift packaging e-commerce company.
Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview Wine Estate
The recipient of the Dynamic Award, Tamara Roberts started as a General Manager before her hard work saw her father hand over the business to Tamara in 2014, when she became CEO of the Ridgeview Wine Estate.
Located in the beautiful South Downs, Ridgeview Wine Estate are committed to strengthening and furthering the international reputation of English Sparkling Wine. Responsible for putting English Sparkling Wine on the global stage, they ensure that their wines and process are as sustainable as possible.
Rosemary French OBE
After a lengthy career working for private and not-for-profit organisations, Rosemary French was awarded an OBE in 2014 in recognition of her fierce advocacy and lobbying for improved gender and ethnic diversity in businesses at every level. And now, thanks to the Dynamic Awards, she has added a Lifetime Achievement Award to her belt.
Now working as a non-executive board member and mentor, Rosemary has dedicated her life to championing women in business and gender equality at government level and using her OBE to “push the women’s agenda”. She currently mentors three women-owned small businesses and continues to speak out against injustices.
Learn how BRITE supports innovators in Sussex
BRITE is the proud sponsor of the Innovator of the Year category in this year’s Dynamic Awards.
Plus X innovation hubs and the University of Brighton have teamed up to deliver a unique range of support so whatever your innovation challenge, we can help you succeed. BRITE members occupy space at Plus X Brighton, which has seven floors of flexible workspace, collaborative meeting rooms, specialist innovation workshops for prototyping and state-of-the-art media suites. The BRITE project is receiving up to £5m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.