A business leader was made an MBE for her Services to Entrepreneurs and UK business by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace ceremony last week.
Ruth Lowbridge is head of SFEDI, the Sector Skills Organisation for enterprise and business support which was formerly based in Newton Aycliffe, but relocated to Darlington.
Ruth’s early career saw her working with some of the UK’s most disenfranchised communities to promote and facilitate skills training amongst young people.
She also worked with pre-release prisoners to improve their potential for successful re-entry into society through training and employment.
Over the years, Ruth has run a number of successful ventures including a bistro, a conference centre, a software company and a training consultancy.
Today, she brings that vast wealth of experience and insight to her driving passion – helping others to fulfil their entrepreneurial potential.
“I feel very honoured to receive this award in recognition of my work, which I couldn’t possibly have done or continue to do without the support of my wonderful family and the whole of the SFEDI team,” she said.
“Inspired by my mother, I have always strived to encourage new and existing small and micro business owners to make the most of themselves by developing their enterprising skills.”
Having benefited from the input of good mentoring early in her own working life, Ruth has gone on both to become a lifelong enterprise mentor herself and to implement the IOEE’s fantastic Meet a Mentor initiative.
For five years, Meet a Mentor has been connecting experienced enterprise mentors with enthusiastic new entrepreneurs in order that valuable knowledge and experience may be passed on to the small and micro businesses that form the UK’s economic backbone.
Ruth says she expects that work to continue to enrich our ambitious enterprise communities.
She added: “I am looking forward to sharing the work of our SFEDI and IOEE family team with many more business owners, helping them to start-up, survive, thrive and feel good about themselves and their futures in the process.”