Swift Group Deputy MD Amy Archer wins ‘Rising Star of the Year’ at the prestigious National finals of the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards (WIBA)

The UK’s top business women have been recognised at the prestigious finals of the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards (WIBA).

Amy Archer, Swift Group’s Deputy MD, first triumphed at the Regional heat to make it to the National finals back in September. Amy was then put through her paces at a live session with an expert judging panel on November 4, held at headline sponsor of the awards HSBC's offices in Leeds.

The National finals, hosted by ITV newsreader Charlene White, took place at The Queens Hotel in Leeds on Friday 20 November, where outstanding, entrepreneurial business leaders from across the UK competed in 11 categories.

It was here that Amy was crowned the winner of the ‘Rising Star of the Year’ award after beating many other entrepreneurial female business leaders from around the UK. This year for the first time, award winners were offered support from two of the most influential names in business – HSBC, who are the headline sponsor of the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards, and Microsoft, the awards technology partner.

James Cliffe, HSBC Head of UK Business Banking, said: “HSBC is proud to support the ‘Forward Ladies National Women in Business Awards' and to recognise the many influential women who in 2015 demonstrated exceptional leadership in shaping the business landscape across the UK. The event attracted an outstanding group of business leaders across a range of industry sectors, and we wish to congratulate all those who participated in the regional heats and final. "HSBC also welcomed the opportunity to provide additional help and guidance to this year’s finalists on how they can best achieve their growth ambitions for the future."

Microsoft will offer finalists a full review of their ICT set up. The review will explore how their organisation can utilise technology across a range of business functions to drive business results. Sharon Jandu, Strategic Partnerships, Small and Medium Business, at Microsoft, said: "Our mission and values are all about helping businesses unlock their full potential and we are excited about the prospect of working with the UK's leading women in business in their companies to support them to achieve this aim."

The WIBAs, now in its sixth year, has become one of the most high profile and respected accolades for women recognising their enormous contribution to the economy and acknowledges start-ups to multi-million pound companies.

Griselda Togobo, Managing Director at Forward Ladies said: "We were delighted to welcome applications from women across the UK in this year’s National Women in Business awards. We were also happy to have been able to reward and celebrate the achievements of women from diverse backgrounds and industries proving that success can be achieved by anyone through hard work and determination.

"As an organisation committed to supporting and developing women we are delighted to have been able to enlist the support of HSBC and Microsoft who have committed to providing business support and an ICT review to all our finalists."

"Women are setting up their own businesses in unprecedented numbers and the news that women are also making strides in the boardroom signals a welcomed shift. We look forward to supporting more women and working with progressive companies looking to unlock the potential of women in their businesses."

Amy Archer commented "I am delighted to have won the ‘Rising Star of the year’ at these highly respected awards. It is a great accolade and I am honoured to be part of the WIBA which recognises the enormous contribution women are making in business. This award is proof that women who aspire to succeed in business can achieve their goals through commitment and hard work and I hope it inspires other women to unlock their potential."

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