Award Winners 2021

Drinks innovators and Digital Marketing Disruptor- 2 Winners of Women in Business Awards 2021

Even in the context of an ongoing pandemic and the uncertainty that brought, this year’s LEO Dublin City Women in Business Awards winners were prime examples of the many entrepreneurs who identified opportunities and developed innovative strategies to launch or grow their businesses during the period.

Valentina Makarova

The winner of the overall Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Valentina Makarova is Co-Founder of  VP Merchants  which not only grew its core business of importing and distributing alcohol, such as wines, liqueurs and spirits to on and off-trade around Ireland, also became a drinks producer,  launching a premium ready-to-drink cocktails range 'The Jar Tales' in late 2020.

Jessica Nolan

The winner of the Rising Star Award, Jessica Nolan set up The Disruptors Agency at the end of 2020 as a full service marketing agency for brands in the health and wellness space. Its service offering includes brand design, website design, social media management, Facebook ads, marketing strategy & consulting, events, content creation.  Its USP is a new take on influencer marketing. Jessica’s mission is to disrupt the influencer marketing industry.

The judges also Highly Commended two other members who had outstanding years, Aine McGurk of Dainty Bear and Aisling Grimley of The Silk Pillowcase 

The Awards were announced on Thursday night at a special Awards and Networking Zoom event, opened by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland:

“I am delighted to welcome network members to this special event and to applaud them all, particularly the Award Winners, for their great achievements in 2021, a challenging year that saw an extraordinary level of pivoting and innovation among the members.”

The winners were announced by Mary Mc Sweeney. Deputy Head of Enterprise and Economic Development and the Awards were followed by a talk on The Power of Image for Confidence, Communications and Wellbeing by Aoife Dunican, The Stylebob.

These Awards are made every year to the winners of the LEO Dublin City Women in Business Network Awards.  This network is an initiative of the Local Enterprise Office Dublin City to support women who are starting and growing businesses and has over 150 members across a range of sectors. 

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Details of winners and prizes
Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award Winner: Valentina Makarova, VP Merchants
Perpetual trophy
€1500 cash
€500 LEO voucher
‘Rising Star’ Award Winner: Jessica Nolan, The Disruptors Agency
€500 cash
€500 LEO voucher