WISE100 Women in Social Enterprise Awards 2024 finalists announced

As the WISE100 awards ceremony fast approaches, it’s time to reveal our finalists in this year’s UK Women in Social Enterprise Awards! Who are the nominees for WISE100 Social Business Woman, Star of the Future, Social Investment Champion, Environmental Champion, and Equality & Empowerment Champion?

The finalists of this year’s annual WISE100 Awards are revealed today by Pioneers Post, in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital. The finalists have been selected from this year’s WISE100 list of the top 100 women in social enterprise, impact investment and mission-driven business.

According to research from Social Enterprise UK, the 131,000-plus social enterprises across the UK are more representative of wider society than other businesses, with 58% being led by teams that are at least half female. Our WISE100 awards aim to celebrate the impact that female social business leaders have achieved, and recognise the diversity of social enterprise and mission-driven business across the country.

This year’s awards bring together powerful, purposeful women taking starring roles in ventures across the UK – from an organisation that is finding innovative ways to fund elephant conservation in Africa, to a social enterprise that educates young people in East London about community-building and human rights through the creative arts. 

This year the judges selected 32 finalists – four of whom are named twice – across five categories: Social Business Woman of the Year, Social Business Star of the Future, Social Investment Champion, Environmental Champion, and Equality & Empowerment Champion.

Over the past few months the Pioneers Post team has been assessing and scoring more than 150 nominations. Our panel of expert judges has then selected a group of finalists from the highest scorers in each category. 

Next week, we will reveal the names of all those who have made it to our top 100 list, and on 7 March the 2024 winners will be revealed at our WISE100 Awards ceremony, hosted at NatWest’s headquarters in London. 

Isabelle Kabban, SpeakUp TheatreThe awards event will take place between 5:45pm and 9pm and, in addition to the awards, the evening will include a performance from Isabelle Kabban (pictured), founder of women-led theatre company SpeakUp Theatre, and will end with a keynote speech from Jemima Olchawski, CEO of women’s rights charity The Fawcett Society.

The in-person event is free to attend (book here) but spaces are limited. However, access to the awards and speeches will be open to everyone through a livestream via this Zoom link.



 WISE100 Social Business Woman of the Year


For a CEO, pioneer or leader with more than five years of leadership experience building revenue, social impact and a strong team.



Zareen Roohi Ahmed, Gift Wellness

Anne Bailey, Form The Future

Erika Brodnock, Kinhub

Alison Egan, Change Please

Sarah Forster, The Good Economy

Hayley Hulme, Starts with You

Temi Kamson, GT Scholars

Rebecca Smith, Social Enterprise Kent

Guest judge: Esther Foreman, The Social Change Nest 



 WISE100 Social Business Star of the Future


For a CEO or leader showing star qualities relatively new in their social enterprise career, with five or fewer years of leadership experience.



Sandy AbdelRahman, Skaped

Molly Bevan, Impactic Volunteers

Sol Escobar, Give Your Best

Sarah Hopley, Venture Studio from Crisis

Micah Ingram, Orange Bow

Becky Lane, Furbnow

Maisie McBagley, The Great Plate

Sophie Pender, The 93% Club

Guest judge: Nicole Helwig, Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation



 WISE100 Social Investment Champion


For a woman making her mark in social impact investment during the past year.



Patricia Alexander, Shared Interest

Lisa Ashford, Ethex & Energise Africa

Alison Egan, Change Please

Sarah Faber, Big Issue Invest

Sarah Hopley, Venture Studio from Crisis

Catrin Price, Fair Finance

Louise Swinden, Resonance

Guest judges: Victoria Papworth, Megan Virrels, Tracy Thomson, Lynn Lee (On Purpose Associate), Brendan Hegarty, NatWest Social & Community Capital



 WISE100 Environmental Champion


For a woman doing pioneering work in the social enterprise space with a focus on climate change and environmental issues.



Katie Alcott, Frank Water

Karen Balmer, Groundwork North Wales

Elizabeth Beall, Finance Earth

Holly Budge, How Many Elephants

Claire Pearson, Belu

Guest judge: Angelica Santodomingo, Impact Hub London



 WISE100 Equality & Empowerment Champion


For a woman who is leading the way in issues of equality and diversity, particularly (but not exclusively) in gender equality, equal participation and leadership.

This new award is supported by the Diversity Forum


Zareen Roohi Ahmed, Gift Wellness

Joanne Marie Anderson, Innervision Consultancy

Holly Budge, How Many Elephants

Verena Hefti, Leaders Plus

Jennifer O'Brien, Music Broth

Aakeen Parikh, Minazi Consulting

Sophie Pender, The 93% Club

Rachel Weiss, Menopause Café

Guest judge: Salma Perveen, Diversity Forum


Delivered by Pioneers Post, in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital, the WISE100 is an initiative to celebrate, support and share expertise, learning and inspiration among women in social enterprise, social innovation, impact investing and mission-led business across the UK. Detailed criteria for each award can be found in our nominations story, and you can read more about pioneering women leaders in our WISE100 collection.


Thanks for reading our stories. As an entrepreneur or investor yourself, you'll know that producing quality work doesn't come free. We rely on our subscribers to sustain our journalism – so if you think it's worth having an independent, specialist media platform that covers social enterprise stories, please consider subscribing. You'll also be buying social: Pioneers Post is a social enterprise itself, reinvesting all our profits into helping you do good business, better.