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Tonight is the final of the EY. As a nominee, It was a pleasure to kick off the UTV series earlier in the year with my story – ( if rather discombobulating that the first shot was of me in rollers on my way to QVC. Lol! )

If you missed the programme, you can catch up here. Tonight the winners will be announced in the live final of the accompanying TV programme on UTV at 10:30pm. So later on I’ll be joining some of Ireland’s most dynamic business people at Dublin’s City West Hotel for the long awaited ceremony.  I am beyond proud to be nominated for this prestigious award and for the business to be recognized in the International Category. I also happen to be one of just three women in the 20 strong shortlist. This is humbling, but also highlights a great opportunity; that there could, and I believe soon will, be many more women entrepreneurs in a space which has traditionally been perhaps less than female friendly. The young female talent that I see around me gives me lots of hope for the future of female entrepreneurship. 

Tune into EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Ireland Final Tonight at 10:30pm

As I’ve mentioned before, our business at Vita Liberata is an 85% female workforce. I’m proud of each and every one of the team and encourage them to reach their potential every day. At the start of the week, I suggested the team in our Head Office in Ballyclare went to see the new film Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep as women’s rights activist Emmeline Pankhurst. It is important to me that our female-strong team understand their history and the huge progress that has been made for women in a relatively short space of time. After all, It has been less than 100 years since women were granted the vote in the UK and Ireland, and even shorter in many more places around the world. The film did an excellent job at telling the story of the Sufragette plight; of determination in the face of resistance, disruption over acceptance and the fight for social and economic justice for 50 percent of the population!  

I hope that the team took something away from seeing the story.  Maybe a greater understanding of where they have come from, but more importantly, hopefully, of where they are going.

Feminism is a concept that we should all embrace, men as well as women, for its logic dictates that feminists cannot but fight for equality in all walks of life!

There’s a quote from the film delivered by Streep as Pankhurst to her band of female followers that struck a chord: ‘never surrender. Never give up the fight’. As I look forward to tonight’s EOY Awards, I keep this quote in mind. No matter how far you have come or how successful or lucky you have been, it is critical to never become complacent. Its a view I encourage the team to live by every day.

For  if you are humble enough to learn, determined enough to work it through, and brave enough to take action,  there is really no limit to what you can achieve. 

Alyson x

Tune into the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Ireland Final tonight on UTV Ireland and UTV at 10:30pm.