China Travel Outbound boss shortlisted for top award

Helena Beard of China Travel Outbound is a finalist in the Artemis Award category of the 14th annual NatWest everywoman Awards.

The three finalists in the category are in line for an award for “the most inspirational woman running a business which has been trading for a minimum of 18 months up to three years”.

The NatWest everywoman Awards are described as the UK’s most prestigious event celebrating the achievements of women business owners.

Beard founded China Travel Outbound to help organisations capitalise on the rapidly growing Chinese market.

Her business offers firms access to Chinese tour operators, media and digital platforms using a UK-based marketing agency offering payment in sterling and contracts under English law.

After a long career in travel marketing, she jointly launched China Travel Outbound, but a split with her co-owners and supplier issues almost saw the business fail.

Taking advice from start-up support service Entrepreneurial Spark, she returned to run China Travel Outbound herself.

In 12 months, she acquired a client list that boasts VisitBrighton, Royal Museums Greenwich and Hard Rock Cafe among others.

She has launched an office in Beijing and lectures in marketing to support her family while the core business becomes more established.

everywoman co-founder Maxine Benson said: “The ambition, success and humility of our finalists make them all strong accessible role models for other women and girls considering starting their own business.”

The awards were judged by 19 successful businesswomen including Cath Kidston, Julia Hands, Amanda Wakeley and Rosaleen Blair.

The winners will be announced on December 7 at The Dorchester Hotel during a reception attended by more than 300 leading figures from business, politics, the media and the City.