This month we celebrate International Women's Day – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – and a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
IWD has actually been observed since the early 1900s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. It was an era where women fought for the rights that so many of us take for granted today, paving the way for women's equality and emancipation.
Fast forward to 2022 and, in Clapham Junction, we’re proud that our business community is full of dynamic female entrepreneurs, working as owners and partners across a range of start-ups, social enterprises and sole traders. Here are just a handful of the amazing women who contribute so much to our local business community…
Kat Hamilton, Owner & Founder, 12 Rounds Boxing Gym (St John's Hill)
Kat certainly packs a punch when it comes to running a successful business in Clapham Junction. 12 Rounds Boxing is a small and friendly boxing gym, offering a range of classes that guarantee an amazing all-over workout and which burn maximum calories. And, importantly for Kat, the classes also help provide focus, relieve stress and build confidence for anyone taking part. The rewarding experience of setting up her own gym and seeing the business grow is down to Kat’s genuine passion for helping her local community, along with sheer hard work and determination.
Giovanna D'Urso, Owner & Founder Chalkboard Toys (Northcote Road)
Learning and fun certainly go hand-in-hand at Chalkboard Toys, with a vast selection of books, puzzles, games and educational toys on offer. Giovanna’s ambition and drive – inspired by her father’s work ethic – have helped her create a unique business where customers enjoy a hands-on shopping experience and where young ones are encouraged to educate and create. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Giovanna has successfully navigated her business through the Covid storm and has established Chalkboard as a firm favourite in the locale.
Coco Fletcher, Owner & Founder, Willow London (Northcote Road)
Coco has been practising yoga for 15 years and was about to launch her new business venture – Willow London – in April 2020, when the world went into lockdown. Despite the unforeseeable delays caused by Covid-19, Coco was finally able to launch properly in October 2020 and, although restrictions continued throughout 2021, Coco has created a successful yoga studio that offers everything from Restorative Yoga to Dynamic Pilates and Barre Burn – creating a feel-good hub for fitness!
Nikita Fisher, Owner & Founder, Palmer Fisher (Battersea Rise)
Nikita – along with her husband, Jonathan – has over 30 years of experience in the industry and launched their passion project – Palmer Fisher – in 2021, finally fulfilling Nikita’s dream of owning a fun, bright and luxurious salon where clients are made to feel at home. Delivering a five-star service in a warm and welcoming atmosphere is the foundation of Nikita’s success and, despite the challenges of the pandemic, the salon has quickly gained an excellent reputation in the local community.
On 24 March, The Wandsworth Enterprise Women’s Awards will recognise some of the amazing female entrepreneurs in our locale, shining a light on the inspiring work and achievements of these women, as well as championing their stories.
Any female entrepreneur who owns/is a partner in a Wandsworth-based business is eligible. The awards are free to enter, and you can nominate yourself or someone you know. Two of the categories – ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and ‘Rising Star’ – will be awarded by the judges. The ‘Best Contribution to the Community’ category is a People’s Choice Award, which is determined by the public.
The deadline for nominations is midnight on Thursday 10th March, so don’t delay, cast your vote here…