Bring the Veuve Cliquot for tech entrepreneurs

THE CHAMPAGNE was on tap last night, as entrepreneurs and City stars gathered in the Claridge’s ballroom to toast winners of Veuve Clicquot’s Business Woman award and New Generation gong for female entrepreneurial talent.

A strong guestlist that included new Ocado chairman Sir Stuart Rose and dashing BBC Dragon James Caan were on hand to raise a glass to Iraqi-British architect Dame Zaha Hadid who won the 41st Business award.

However this year a second trophy – and case of celebratory vintage champagne – was given for the first New Generation award.

Fending off stiff competition from Bear Nibbles founder Hayley Gait-Golding and Rubies in the Rubble founder Jenny Dawson, tech entrepreneur Kathryn Parsons was named the winner for her start-up DeCoded – a technology school that teaches coding.

Both women were in good company, with EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall and handbag designer Anya Hindmarch among the list of previous winners.

■ As one awards door closes, another one opens – Ernst & Young has announced the finalists for the UK Entrepreneur Of The Year awards. The Capitalist was pleased to see some City names making the cut such as founder of wealth managers Signia Wealth Nathalie Dauriac-Stoebe and Alex Chesterman from property firm Zoopla. Nothing like a bit of suspense to build excitement though – it will be bated breaths all round until the winner is announced on 7 October.