Entrepreneur Shazia Awan who is of British Pakistani descent has been named the UK’s best female Asian entrepreneur at the prestigious annual Asian Women of Achievement Awards held at London’s Park Lane Hilton. Shazia who was a Conservative Parliamentary candidate in the recent general election was nominated following the success of her start-up company Peachy Pink.
Its ladies anti-cellulite and body-shaping underwear range, PeachyBody, is now sold across the World.
Having signed an initial distribution deal with Debenhams last year, Ms Awan launched her brand in show stopping style with fifty women dressed in underwear marching down London’s Bond Street which attracted international press attention. She has since expanded her business into international markets.
The award ceremony was attended by 750 guests including businessman James Caan, director Gurinder Chudda, Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Badiya El Hassan of Jordan.
Ms Awan said, "I am delighted and honoured to have been given the award for Asian entrepreneur of the year.
"It has without a doubt been a really difficult economic climate to set up a business in but anything is possible if you just believe in yourself. I hope that by accepting this award I can help and inspire other young women to believe in their dreams and go out there and strive for what they really want."
Ms Awan received her award from Home Secretary Theresa May.
Judges of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards – chaired by British Red Cross chief executive Sir Nicholas Young and with Cherie Blair as patron – said this year’s winners were some of the most outstanding individuals ever to be honoured in the programme’s 11-year history.
The Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan who accompanied Shazia to the awards ceremony alongside her family said: "The Asian Women of Achievement Awards showcase the very best of talent amongst the Asian community. I’m delighted that Shazia’s hard work and entrepreneurship skills have been recognised at these prestigious awards.
"Asian women are starting to occupy some of the most influential positions in British public life and these awards are an important vehicle to inspire and encourage others to reach their potential.
"As one of four females in the Cabinet, I know how important it is to recognise the achievements and contributions of women in all fields of life. Congratulations Shazia and all the best for the future."