JANE Stewart, a director of Edinburgh-based waste-tech firm Topolytics, has been recognised by Innovate UK as one of the UK’s leading female entrepreneurs.
Thirty-eight entrepreneurs have each been awarded a £50,000 grant to tackle society’s biggest issues.
The National Women in Innovation Awards received over 830 applications. The announcement of the winners coincided with International Women’s Day, celebrating a wide array of social, economic, cultural, and political achievements.
Jane Stewart, the only Scottish entrepreneur to be recognised this year, commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way. The programme is a great opportunity to spotlight our work at Topolytics and to fund further development of our WasteMap® data analytics platform. I’m part of a remarkable team at Topolytics with a shared vision to become the global leader in the £3.5Bn market for actionable insights on waste materials and how they move through the global economy. By so doing, we are enabling a materials revolution – where resource use is maximised and the negative impacts of waste on our environment and communities are eliminated.
“In my role at Topolytics and beyond, including as an Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland, I seek to be a visible role model. To actively encourage more women to lead, to found and to be the change they wish to see in delivering the next phase of transformation in their sector.”
She added: “I am proud and humbled to have won this award although surprised to learn I was the only Scottish winner this year given the wealth of amazing female business talent we have in Scotland.”
A qualified chartered accountant, Jane has spent decades in the fields of investment, corporate finance, venture capital and private equity. Prior to becoming a Director of Topolytics she held roles as strategy director and group CFO at William Tracey Group (now Enva), a leading waste management and recycling company. As one of the leadership team she was instrumental in buildng the business nationally through acquisitions, alliances and organic growth over a 12-year period through to exit in 2017. Now an independent director, Jane works with a portfolio of high growth SME’s and investment funds.
The flagship Women in Innovation Awards is a key part of Innovate UK’s commitment to boosting the number of UK female entrepreneurs. As highlighted in the recent Rose Review, if we could enable women to start and scale businesses at the same rate as men, it could add up to £250 billion to the UK economy. Now in its fourth year, Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation programme continues to support high-potential female business leaders from diverse backgrounds.
If you’re an inspiring female innovator, check out how Innovate UK could support you at:
Details on all 38 female innovators can also be found here.