BLOWING your own trumpet has often been frowned upon as bragging – especially when it’s done by women.
Now a Bristol woman is on a mission to change that by helping women enter, and win, business awards.
Jackie Novels set up awardsforwomen.com during lockdown after a flurry of women in business asked for her help to write their entry forms for awards.
Jackie, 44, a mother of twins, said: “In previous jobs I was often asked to organise or judge business awards.
“It always made me really cross that loads of entries would come in from men saying how fab they were, but hardly any from women.
“I don’t know whether it’s a societal thing, where little girls are taught more than little boys not to boast.
“Or maybe it’s down to women often carrying more of the load of sorting childcare and running the household alongside their work, meaning they’re just too busy to spend hours researching awards and filling in lengthy entry forms.
“There’s also a misconception that there are panels of judges scouring local businesses to select the ones that deserve an award, which isn’t the case.
“To win awards you have to enter them. I’m on a mission to get women shouting about their success and getting the recognition they deserve.”
Jackie is no stranger to winning awards herself, being named Business Mother of the Year in the NatWest Venus Awards and winning Innovation In Home Business at The Guardian Small Business Showcase Awards.
She has been sharing award entry tips on social media, talking on podcasts and to small business networks about it, as well as offering free half-hour advice slots to any female entrepreneurs who want one.
Women in business can also outsource their award entry writing to Jackie, who uses her skills as a qualified journalist to write their business story into entries that wow the judges.
Female business owners from a diverse range of jobs have been getting in touch, including retail, the music industry, charities, creative industries, tech businesses and training companies.
So far 88 per cent of entries Jackie has written have made it onto the judges’ shortlist, with more than half of those going on to be named the overall winner.
Jackie said: “If I can get 50 women who wouldn’t usually enter themselves for an award to put their name into the hat this year, I’ll consider it a job well done.”
Jackie Novels can be contacted on Jackie@awardsforwomen.com