A businesswoman who started her holiday letting company with just one cottage and £1,000 in the bank, is in the running for a top award.
Sally Fielding, the owner of Lake District-based Sally’s Cottages, has been shortlisted in this year’s regional Forward Ladies Awards for the title of 2018 Female Entrepreneur of the Year.
Last year, she took a gold award in the SME Growth category at the awards for the north west, Wales, Ireland and Isle of Man region.
Sally said: “I’m a big believer in the role that local businesses play not only in the economy of an area but also the culture and sense of community.
"Our business thrives because people staying in our cottages enjoy the services of other local businesses. Other people have been able to set up businesses off the back of ours.
“In an industry dominated by private equity we can take a huge amount of responsibility for helping to raise the profile of the Lake District, and Cumbria as a whole, through the power of our incredibly popular Facebook platform.”
She will be up against nine other women for Entrepreneur of the Year in Forward Ladies which is sponsored by HSBC.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony at The Lowry Hotel, Manchester, in October.
They will then go through to the final of the Forward Ladies National Awards 2018, which involves a judging day in November with results revealed in December.
All applicants are judged against three core criteria: community impact, financial performance of the business and leadership, strategic direction and personal resilience.
Sally, who has achieved local and national recognition for growth and customer service, said a large part of the company’s success was down to the hard work of her team.
She added: “I started with one cottage and £1,000 to put into the business back in 2003. We now have over 475 properties, with even more about to join us, and in the past year we took an incredible £8 million worth of bookings.
“The business has grown through hard work, a certain resilience and a genuine energy for creating a service superior to other agencies.”
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