Thanet women fly flag for the isle at Kent Women in Business Awards

Karen Brinkman took a runner up award and Charlotte Silver was a winner

Thanet women have been celebrating success at this year’s Kent Women in Business Awards.

Charlotte Silver, from Margate, took the top title in the Young Business Woman of the Year category at the awards ceremony on Friday (March 10).

Charlotte, 24, heads up Silvers event space with dance school in Margate and Ronnies bar in Ramsgate.

She said: “I am so pleased and honoured to win the Young Business Woman of the year award. Every women in the room was so inspirational and what an excellent way to finish off the week of International Women’s Day! I would like to thank my Silvers team and my family for all their hard work and support.”

At 18 Charlotte inherited money and invested it by opening Silver Slipper dance school.

A talented dancer herself, when she was 16 Charlotte was chosen by Jennifer Ellison for a scholarship in her performing arts school in Liverpool.

Sadly for Charlotte a back injury ended her dancing career and meant she had to undertake gruelling operations to remove fluid from her spine.

Instead she turned her attention to business and her ventures, which have a sparkly trademark theme, have grown in success.

Charlotte is supported by husband Jack and last year the pair organised the Christmas tree and light switch on event in Margate.

She will also be representing Margate and the UK after scooping the Mrs Diamond pageant title last November.

Charlotte competed in the category against women from around the UK and, despite being the youngest contender at 24, took the title. Mrs Diamond is a category in the Miss Diamond pageant. Charlotte will represent the UK in her category at the international competition in Las Vegas in July.

Also flying the flag for Thanet was Karen Brinkman from Westbrook who was awarded runner up in the Inspired Achievement Award for her creation of the Thanet Virtual High Street during the pandemic.

Karen, who is a local business advisor, was on furlough from her previous job when she decided to set up TVHS to give businesses a platform to shout about the things they were doing and for members to see what was on offer locally.

The idea was an instant hit and boasts thousands of members with small businesses taking the opportunity to share their goods and services.

The group, promoting everything from art galleries to bakers and IT to beauty, also expanded to create a Thanet Virtual Wedding Fair group.

Initially helping small businesses to trade through the covid lockdown TVHS then made the move into face to face events when the restrictions were lifted.

Karen said: “I was so proud to be flying the Thanet business flag along with other amazing Thanet businesswomen at the KWIB23.

“I was invited to attend the prestigious ceremony, which has been running for 11 years, after being picked as a finalist of the Kent Women in Business Community Award but was shocked to also receive a runners up prize of the KWIB inspired achievement award.

“This was primarily for creating the Thanet Virtual High Street, a platform for local businesses to promote their products and services and local people to find what they are looking for. The reason TVHS has been so successful is down to everyone embracing it. Everyone is welcome, equal and all superstars in the Thanet Virtual High Street.

“I love supporting my community and now I’m working for Social Enterprise Kent as a local business advisor, a role funded by Thanet District Council, I can spend my whole week supporting local businesses.”

Gemma Adams founder of Women in Law Kent also took a runner up in women’s champion award and Thanet finalists were Cemanthe McKenzie, of Lemon Feather Photography, in the service excellence award; Karen Dawkins of Wraithmaille for creative business award and Vicky Martin of Vicky Martin Method Ltd for the innovation award.

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