In pictures: Winners announced at inaugural INSPIRE Conference and Awards

The achievements of businesswomen in Maidenhead were honoured at the inaugural INSPIRE Conference and Awards.

The event, organised by Maidenhead Business Girls, was held on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8.

More than 80 people gathered at Weir Bank in Monkey Island Lane for a full day of talks, panels, networking and an awards ceremony.

The theme of the event was inspiring women and the event aimed to motivate, connect and celebrate women in business.

More than 3,500 people voted overall for the nine awards which were dished out on the day.

Overall Business Girl of the Year award went to Caroline Christer who opened the Hand Foot and Beauty Studio based at Maidenhead Podiatory.

In a tearful acceptance speech she thanked the people she worked with, adding: “I haven’t done this on my own, this is as much for them.”

Winner of the Advertiser-sponsored Best Community Business Award, voted for by readers, was Seema Goyal who runs uniform shop Goyals in Bridge Street.

The Business Girls Network, of which Maidenhead Business Girls is part, was started up in 2014 by fundraising and marketing manager Amanda Ayres.

After the event she said: “It has been totally and utterly incredible.

“Everybody has absolutely loved it and said the speakers were really really inspiring.”

She plans to run the event again on International Women’s Day next year. Find out more at


The winners were:

Business Girl of the Year -Caroline Christer (The Hand Foot & Beauty Studio)

Service of the Year - Sian Martin (MDM Creative &

Creative Business Girl of the Year - Claire Whyte (Claire Whyte Design)

Business Girl Rising Star of the Year - Amy Opalko (Dance Inspired)

Best Home Based Business - Sam Sheppard ( The Dinky Fingerprint Company)

Best New Business -Meli Paramio and Syra Portillo ( The Dragonfly Candle Company)

Best Community Business – Seema Goyal (Goyals Maidenhead)

Most Inspiring and Active Business Girl - Jodie Humphries (Maidenhead Mum Blog)

Business Girl Heart of the Community - Tabitha Beaven (Light Mind and Tuneless Choir)


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