Veuve Clicquot awards, champagne

Sarah Wood, Founder and Co-CEO of Unruly and Cassandra Stavrou, Co-Founder and CEO of Propercorn have been crown winners of the 2016 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award and New Generation Award.

The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards are regarded as the ‘Oscars’ amongst female entrepreneurs and business leaders. The awards were first launched 43 years ago to celebrate entrepreneurial women who are making significant contributions to business life in the UK.

Sarah Wood, Founder and Co-CEO of Unruly

Wood founded the online video service Unruly in 2006. The business has since expanded to 15 offices worldwide with over 200 people employed. Wood was also central to Unruly’s acquisition by NewsCorp in late 2015 in a deal worth £114m.

Today, Unruly works with 90% of AdAge 100 brands to connect them with consumers and has already notched up two trillion views to date including work with Adidas, Dove, T-Mobile, Evian and Renault.

Wood is a champion for diversity in the workplace, wit over 48% of her workforce being female. In addition 46% of Unruly’s management team are women.

Wood is a London Tech Ambassador and is an associate lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where she teaches an MPhil course in “Mash-Ups, Memes and LOLitics: Online Video Culture and the Screen Media Revolution.

She also co-founded a free pop-up university in London’s Tech City called “City Unrulyversity”. Taught by academics from City University London, it pops up every Wednesday night at Unruly HQ.

On receiving her award Wood, said: “As an entrepreneur I know just how important it is to celebrate success, and as a mum of three amazing children I can see first-hand the significance of role models for the next generation of entrepreneurs and female business leaders.

“So it’s brilliant to see Madame Clicquot continuing to inspire female business leaders to this day, and I’m delighted to be attending the ceremony with three exceptionally talented women who have been instrumental to the continuing growth of Unruly’s phenomenal success – Clem Carlisle, Lucy Greggains and Deana Murfitt, I salute you!”

Cassandra Stavrou, Co-founder and CEO of Propercorn

Stavrou told her mother of her plans to start a healthy popcorn business and she reminded her that the last present her father gave her before he passed away was a vintage popcorn maker.

She decided to quit her job and move back home to make Propercorn a reality. After almost two years of seasoning popcorn in a cement mixer, she was at a point where she could bring her idea to life.

Stavrou launched her business by securing a deal to stock Propercorn at Google HQ. It was also featured as a snack at London Fashion Week.

Today Propercorn has a team of 40 based in offices in North London and is available in 10 countries in Europe. Since first launching in October 2011, Propercorn has over 15,000 stockists including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado and Boots and it has emerged as one of the fastest growing brands in the UK.

She recently launched Propercorn Platform, which is open to budding entrepreneurs aged 16-23. The winning business idea receives funding and mentorship to get their company off the ground.

The Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award was set up to celebrate up and coming female entrepreneurial talent in the UK who show a genuine commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices whilst optimising a gap in today’s market.

Stavrou on receiving her award said: “It’s such an honour to receive the New Generation award and to appear alongside such an impressive group of finalists. The awards are an amazing celebration of entrepreneurs from around the world and it’s been inspiring to learn more about Madame Clicquot’s tenacious spirit and legacy of entrepreneurship”

Julie Nollet, Marketing & Communication Director, Moët Hennessy UK, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate two incredible winners who come from such very different sectors, both are incredibly inspiring in not only their approach to business but what they continue to achieve outside their very busy working lives. Both Sarah and Cassandra exhibit those key attributes that Madame Clicquot had in 1805 when she became the first woman to take over a champagne house; those same characteristics that are still so clearly evident today as we celebrate in our winners in 2016.”

The award’s independent judging panel is comprised of business leaders including; Caroline Michel, CEO Peters, Frasers & Dunlop, Carolyn McCall, CEO, Easyjet, Ruth Rogers, River Café, Stephen Quinn, Publishing Director of Vogue, Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners, as well as Sian Westerman, MD, Rothschild.