Co-founder and CEO of the food-sharing app Olio, Tessa Clarke, has been announced as the winner of the Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award 2023. Olio is a mobile app for sharing by giving away, getting, borrowing or lending things in your community for free, aiming to reduce household and food waste. It connects users with neighbours and users nearby.
The award is one of the longest-running international accolades honouring successful women in business. Veuve Clicquot’s International Barometer has also been released recently, highlighting that two thirds of women believe that having a role model is essential to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Olio: 7 million users worldwide with partnerships continuing to grow
The 51st woman to be honoured with the award, Tessa Clarke was recognised due to her inspirational work in creating the food sharing app, Olio. The company has grown fairly rapidly since launching in 2015, with over 7 million using Olio and partnerships established with major food retailers including Tesco, Iceland and Amazon Fresh.
Olio has already saved over 100 million portions of food from going to waste and has created communities of sharing globally. In particular, the business has entered a partnership with Whole Foods Market designed to further eliminate food waste in the London area.
The Bold Woman Award celebrates innovation, female leadership and entrepreneurism across the UK and the panel of judges praised Tessa’s app-based solutions. They also aimed to highlight her work connecting communities through Olio’s 86,000 Food Hero volunteers working to redistribute food.
When she spoke on winning the award, Tessa Clarke said: “The Bold Woman Award celebrates a daring attitude to business, reinventing tradition and an ethical approach to business, all qualities I greatly admire and try to embody in my work.
“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.”
Clarke also highlighted in her acceptance speech that being an ‘outsider’ provides greater vision and to solve global crises requires a brand new model of leadership to ensure a bold and bright future.
All winners were praised for overcoming significant hurdles, some of which were highlighted in the Veuve Clicquot International Barometer. The study surveyed 48,000 women globally across 24 countries, and confirmed that nearly half (47%) of women surveyed believe that building a business is riskier for women, with 42% believing they must act more like men to succeed professionally.
Two thirds of the women surveyed for the report also believed that having a role model to look up to is an essential part of becoming a successful entrepreneur. This figure rose to nearly all female wantrepreneurs, with 92% stating that they are inspired by female entrepreneurs.
Jean-Marc Gallot, President of Veuve Clicquot, commented: “The Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Awards have been celebrating strong female entrepreneurs for over fifty years during which we have recognised women who have made a mark in history.
“Nominees are assessed across four key areas, from successfully reinventing traditions and demonstrating entrepreneurial daring, to championing better representation of female leaders and maintaining an ethical approach, and I’m delighted that this year’s winners are pushing boundaries with innovation and their ambition to achieve sustainable and societal impact.”