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East Midlands Chamber News

Winners announced on night of celebration at Enterprising Women Awards

Neeyantee Karia, co-founder of nationally renowned, Leicester-based food producers Jake & Nayns’, has been named Enterprising Women Business Woman of the Year for 2020 at a glittering awards ceremony at Double Tree by Hilton, Sheffield Park.

She was one of eight winners on the night as a record number of guests gathered to acknowledge and celebrate the very best female business talent across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

Food Attraction Ltd manufactures food for many high street restaurant chains as well as the Jake and Nayns’ brand of handheld street food for the retail market.

Neeyantee has now collected six major awards in the past 12 months, two of them national awards.

She oversees finance, production and the manufacturing site as well as HR and H&S and has been instrumental in the success of the company, which has grown from a start-up to an international business, with further growth predicted.

Neeyantee is mother to two daughters and looks out for the 100 staff in the business. Her attitude to work and passion for supporting those around her is infectious and she is influential in nurturing employees to bring out the best in them.

She said: “I am both shocked and delighted to win this award. I want to thank my amazing team for this win as well as the Enterprising Women Awards sponsors and everyone at the Chamber – this is such a huge honour.”

Other winners on the night included Mital Thanki, Spark Academy (Female Entrepreneur of the Year), Easy Internet Services (Social Commitment Award), Blueprint Interiors (Small Business of the Year Award), Emma Anderson, Freeths LLP (Female Employee of the Year), TTK Confectionary (Team of the Year), Learn by Design (Outstanding Contribution to Working in STEM) and Sophie Neil, Turner & Townsend (Apprentice of the Year).

The sponsors for the Enterprising Women Awards were Futures Housing Group (headline sponsor); Pick Everard, Leicester Racecourse, Leicester Tigers, Hastings Direct, Smallman & Son, The Belmont Hotel, Derby College Group (category sponsors); Purpose Media (media sponsor), Mercia Image Print (print sponsor), Cross Productions (design sponsor) and The Conference Works (AV sponsor). The host for the evening was TV personality Emma Jesson.

Co-Chair of Enterprising Women, Eileen Richards, founder of ER Recruitment, and Vice-President at the Chamber, said: “The standard of entries was, again, very high this year and we had a record number of submissions, which is testament to the real hunger among women in the business community to be recognised for their achievements.

“These awards go from strength to strength every year and are one of the best ways to achieve that recognition. In the past we have had some very worthy winners and I’m delighted that Neeyantee is now among them; every single finalist and winner deserves to be celebrated and should be immensely proud of their efforts.”

Co-Chair Jean Mountain, a Past President at the Chamber, said: “These annual awards never fail to inspire me, and it is an honour to be able to showcase the fantastic female talent we have in this great region of ours. My congratulations go to all the winners and finalists and a big thank you goes out to all our valued sponsors which do such a wonderful job in supporting these prestigious awards.”

Lindsey Williams, Group Chief Executive of headline sponsor Futures Housing Group, added: “Futures Housing is proud to be sponsoring this event. We are currently tackling a long-standing issue – to get more women on company boards – so it is so important to get the messages of encouragement out to women in business.

“Neeyantee’s passion and drive for both her business and her team really shone through and she has won a category in which the standard was exceptionally high.”

For more information on Enterprising Women, please click here.