Inside Veuve Clicquot's Bold Woman Award 2023

Words by
Sphere Editors

1st June 2023

The Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award 2023 was held last night at the brand's brilliant Solaire Culture space at Piccadilly Circus. So let's raise a glass for the winners, Tessa Clarke of Olio, and Karen Scofield-Seal of OCEANIUM, along with all the nominees. 

Last night Veuve Clicquot awarded Tessa Clarke, co-founder and CEO of community-sharing app Olio, as the winner of the 2023 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award. Karen Scofield-Seal, CEO and founder of seaweed innovation firm OCEANIUM, was announced the winner of the 2023 Veuve Clicquot Bold Future Award.

This announcement coincides with the latest results of Veuve Clicquot’s International Barometer which shows that more than two thirds of women believe that having a female role model is an essential part of becoming a successful entrepreneur

Veuve Clicquot has a long-standing commitment to female leadership, which began in 1805 with Madame Clicquot, a true trailblazer and fearless entrepreneur who took the reigns of the House after her husband's passing, securing its success against all odds.

The Bold Woman Awards, which have been running since 1972, continue to take inspiration from Madame Clicquot, with judges considering whether candidates emulate her enterprising spirit and courage, assessing four key areas; successfully reinventing traditions, demonstrating entrepreneurial daring, championing better representation of female leaders and maintaining an ethical approach to business.

Tessa Clarke of Olio
Tessa Clarke won the coveted Bold Woman Award from Veuve Clicquot for her community sharing app Olio

In her acceptance speech Tessa Clarke noted how hard it still is for women to get take their place at the boardroom table, commenting, "Outsiders have been locked out for far too long. It takes outsiders to push."

Clarke also called for a new model of leadership that invites outsiders in, and said, " we need money, not mentorship. We need power."

Carole Bildé of Veuve Clicquot with Karen Scofield-Seal, winner of Veuve Clicquot Bold Futures Award 2023

Carole Bildé the CMO of Veuve Clicquot with Karen Scofield-Seal of OCEANIUM

Carole Bildé the CMO of Veuve Clicquot with Karen Scofield-Seal of OCEANIUM, winner of Veuve Clicquot Bold Futures Award 2023

This year the award’s judging panel comprised a mixture of industry titans and networkers including Kristina Blahnik, CEO of Manolo Blahnik; Pip Jamieson, founder of The Dots; Sian Westerman, co-chair at British Fashion Council Trust; and Naomi Kerbel, former global head of TV and radio at Bloomberg.

Katherine Garrett-Cox, CEO at GIB Asset Management and former Bold Award winner, commented: “This year’s shortlist is comprised of female entrepreneurs who have achieved great financial success whilst maintaining their ethics and values. The competition was incredibly fierce with some brilliant candidates and those that have been selected have displayed impressive sustainability driven ventures and are striving for a better tomorrow.”

The guest list at the event was equally impressive with successful women from all walks of life and business, showing up to support the awards, including Yvonne Thompson, CBE, the founder of Choice FM, and broadcaster Naga Munchetty, who led the ceremony.

Meet This Years Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award Nominees

Clare Hornby - ME & EM

Clare Hornby
Clare Hornby, Founder of ME+EM

Founder of contemporary British clothing brand ME+EM, Clare’s career has been fashion-oriented from the start, from handcrafting her own pieces as a child, to selling accessories on Oldham market as a teenager.

The brand, which creates ‘intelligent style for intelligent women’ has seen rapid success since its inception in 2009, and now holds seven boutiques, 200+ employees and an ever-growing loyal community. Their most recent investment raise in March 2022 totalled £55m and the first US stores will be opening later this year.

Izzy Obeng - Foundervine

Izzy Obeng
Izzy Obeng, Founder and CEO of Foundervine

Izzy is the founder and CEO of Foundervine - a non-profit which strives to remove the social and economic barriers to innovation. Foundervine has already had a significant impact, supporting over 5,000 diverse-led ventures to start and scale through training, space, networks and access to capital since 2018.

Louise Hill - GoHenry

Louise Hill
Louise Hill, Co-founder of GoHenry

After realising nothing existed that could help teach her own children how to be good with money in an increasingly cashless world, Louise co-founded GoHenry.

The prepaid debit card and financial education app provides tools to help kids and teens learn about money, all with parental oversight. It has certainly struck a chord, and has been an incredible success, raising a total of $136M through a combination of direct investors, crowdfunding and growth equity, and attracting over two million members.

Tessa Clarke - Olio and Winner of the Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award 2023 

Tessa Clarke
Tessa Clarke, Co-founder and CEO of Olio

Tessa is the co-founder and CEO of Olio, a waste-busting app that connects local people so they can give away, rather than throw away, spare food and household items. Under Tessa's stewardship the platform has grown rapidly: last month it reached 7 million users, and has so far been used to share more than 92 million portions of food and over 8 million household items.

On her win, Tessa commented, “It’s an absolute honour to receive this incredibly prestigious award and I'm truly humbled to be positioned alongside the previous winners. I started Olio because I wanted to help solve one of the world’s largest problems and it’s great to see this has resonated with so many people. We’ve hit some incredible milestones already, and I hope I can continue to inspire the next generation of game changing, Bold female entrepreneurs. “

Victoria Prew - HURR

Victoria Prew
Victoria Prew, Founder and CEO of HURR

Victoria is the founder and CEO of HURR, the revolutionary fashion rental service. Since launching she has raised over £4 million in funding and secured commercial partnerships with industry giants including Selfridges and MATCHESFASHION and fashion brands such as Ganni and Mulberry. 

This year HURR is the official rental partner for Royal Ascot, and Victoria Prew told SPHERE last night, "May is by far our busiest month, it is always the moment in the year when we realise we need more dresses, because it is the month we gain the most new customers who are seeking to rent luxury items for one-off summer occasions."

Karen Scofield Seal - OCEANIUM and Winner of Veuve Clicquot Bold Future Award

Karen Scofield Seal
Karen Scofield-Seal, Co-founder and CEO of Oceanium

Karen is on a mission to make seaweed-based products for people health and planet health. She is the CEO and co-founder of impact start-up Oceanium, which develops innovative materials and food products from seaweed for environmental and social benefit. Oceanium is in its infancy but has already raised over $10 million from ocean impact funds including World Wildlife Fund and Builders Vision.

On her win, Karen Scofield-Seal said “The Veuve Clicquot Bold Future Award is an amazing recognition of the incredibly bright future we have at OCEANIUM. I’m grateful that our work is being recognised with this prestigious award and that will highlight the potential that OCEANIUM has to help shape our future. I’d love to see more female led businesses and I hope I can inspire others to be brave, audacious and follow their passion.”