London-based business strategist and entrepreneurship coach Ceylan Boyce, founder of Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), has been crowned one of the UK’s Top 10 advisers for the professional support she provides to empower female business owners, to help them grow their business.
The virtual awards ceremony, which announced the winners of the Enterprise Nation Top 50 Advisers competition, across a range of professional disciplines such as legal, finance and funding, technology, HR, PR and marketing and a special ‘Above & Beyond’ category – took place on the evening of 25th November.
Ceylan was picked from hundreds of advisers from up and down the UK, nominated for the behind-the-scenes guidance they have given to female solopreneurs and micro-businesses owners, helping them navigate the challenges and opportunities they have faced during 2020 – not least Covid; for many, this professional advice has made the difference between their business surviving, or thriving.
Having been a consultant for almost fifteen years, 39-year old Ceylan founded her business, the award-winning academy last year, with the aim of empowering fellow founders with business acumen, while also creating a community of like-minded professionals who support each other.
She said: “We try to provide them with clarity, focus and momentum. After working with us, they know what they should be doing, they are empowered to make decisions and enabled in taking immediate actions thanks to our award-winning training and coaching system and all the business tools, methods and techniques we provide.”
She added: “If my expertise and advice can help give small businesses a better chance of survival and contribute to the wider economic recovery – especially during these particularly challenging times – then it’s time well-spent not to mention professionally rewarding.”
One such business was Ufocus, a multicultural and multilingual video marketing company, catering to the needs of multiple industries, founded by Eugenia Zagoruyko in 2013.
Eugenia said: “I joined AWE without any specific expectations, and mainly looking for a community of like-minded business owners to support each other in difficult times. I actually got out so much more than that! You are not just taught the general theories of running a successful business, but you are guided to define what business means for you and build the right strategies and tactics to make that happen. I can’t recommend Ceylan and the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs highly enough – it was worth every penny and every minute of my time!”
Echoing Eugenia’s accolade, Suelin McCullough, director of business and office management services firm JSGD Ltd said: “I don’t know where my business would be without the amazing business coaching and training provided by AWE. Every time I hit a roadblock in my emotions or thought process regarding my business, their timely, relevant and in-depth webinars kept me motivated, focused and equipped. Add to that a wonderful community of women entrepreneurs that AWE has brought together, who provided much-needed support on this journey as a micro-business owner. It has proved to be the best investment I have made not only for my business growth but my personal growth as well.”
The Top 50 Adviser Awards are run by the UK’s leading small businesses network Enterprise Nation – in association with Xero, Dell Technologies and Neat – and set out to highlight the work done behind the scenes by experts across nine professional disciplines, in helping Britain’s army of entrepreneurs to build and grow a sustainable business.
This year also saw an additional special category: the ‘Above and Beyond’ award, which paid special tribute to those professionals – across all sectors – who provided free, one-to-one expert advice to SMEs to help them address the myriad challenges facing them as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, and in particular those who have given up their time for free as part of the Government-backed Recovery Advice for Business initiative.
The list of winners in the nine professional categories was compiled following a public vote on the shortlisted Top 50 SME-nominated advisers, with almost four thousand votes cast over a two-week period.
The winner of the Above and Beyond award was selected by the panel of five judges, drawn from To Market, BEIS, CMI and the Advertising Association, alongside Emma Jones.
Collecting her award, Ceylan said: “Getting this award is not just about us being good at what we do and our hard and smart work. Something supernatural happens when a group of like-minded women gets together. The community spirit allows each and every one of them to become stronger, bigger and more resilient. It becomes a factorial empowerment for everyone. And this is exactly what happened to us. They had our back, they supported us they encouraged us and they made us bigger. So thank you to every single one of our members and those who voted for our mission. You made us feel so proud and fulfilled! Thank you.”
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation said: “Business advisers are the unsung heroes behind Britain’s booming small business culture and their insight and experience are needed now more than ever.
“The awards were designed to show how important their work is in action and the entries have uncovered incredible advice efforts that have helped firms pivot to keep trading.
“2020 has also seen a record increase in the number of start-ups. These fledgling businesses can greatly benefit from the expertise and support of a professional adviser, in particular during their crucial ‘make-or-break’ first year.”
About Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation is the UK’s leading small business network and business support provider delivering support to more than 50,000 small businesses every month. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses – through expert advice (including a comprehensive resources library), events, acceleration support and networking. This year it launched two high profile business support initiatives: the Amazon Small Business Accelerator and the Recovery Advice for Business scheme which collectively aim to support more thousands of small firms impacted by the pandemic.