It has been announced that Bev Hurley, CEO of YTKO Group and Enterprising Women was among a special group of Britain’s trailblazing women recognised at the First Women Awards on 30th June.

Bev Hurley scooped the Business Services award. Bev has dedicated the past 30 years to promoting entrepreneurial skills in others. Through projects such as Enterprising Women, she has helped thousands of women to bring their business ideas to fruition and to help existing businesswomen accelerate their business growth. As another example, she helped catalyse Norfolk’s economic performance by creating a dynamic, sustainable, innovation and enterprise community, The Norfolk Network, and is now transforming the provision of business mentoring to new entrepreneurs through Outset Norfolk.

As CEO, she has grown the economic development and business support consultancy YTKO Group into new markets and regions, delivering outstanding growth in the public and private sector. She was recognized particularly for her commitment to improving the opportunities for female entrepreneurs and founders of business enterprises.

Bev said “The calibre of women shortlisted for these awards was exceptional, so I was thrilled, humbled and honoured in equal measure.  My aims are to use the award to encourage the government to unlock the huge economic potential of women in business, and to inspire other successful female entrepreneurs to join me as a UK Ambassador and enterprise mentor.”

The First Women Awards, created by Real Business and the CBI, and held in association with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, honour women whose achievements open up opportunities for others.

This year’s winners include Emer Timmons, BT’s first ever female president of its Global Services UK and GS Systems Integrators business arms, and Juliet Davenport, the only female chief executive in the UK’s renewables industry and founder of renewable electricity supplier, Good Energy.

Dr Liz Nelson OBE, co-founder of research giant Taylor Nelson, was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award accolade at this year’s glittering ceremony.

In previous years, First Women Awards have been presented to Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins DBE and the UK’s first female MD of a commercial vehicle manufacturer, Nikki King OBE.

Diana Brightmore-Armour, CEO of Corporate Banking at Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, said: “This year’s winners demonstrate the breadth of talent that women bring to all areas of our economy – they are truly outstanding!

“The recognition these awards offer is vital in providing inspiration to future generations of women and we are proud to support such an important programme once again.”

The champion for the awards – now in their seventh year – is Helen Alexander, the first female president of the CBI. and judges included founder and managing director of The Eden Project Gaynor Coley, ITV’s commercial director Fru Hazlitt, and entrepreneur Pinky Lilani OBE.

The ceremony was attended by more than 400 guests including the Lords Spokesperson for the Cabinet Office and for Women and Equalities, Baroness Verma and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.

Supporters of the First Women Awards, in association with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets include: BAE Systems; BT, ICAEW; Rolls-Royce; Harvey Nash; the Institution of Mechanical Engineers; Benenden Healthcare Society; Land Rover, and Centrica.

The First Women Awards, in association with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, are hosted by Caspian Media’s Real Business and this year’s ceremony took place on 30 June at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London.

For further information on the awards visit: