Fiona Houston 'Sea-EO' of Mara was recognised as Scotland's Entrepreneur of the Year at the BQ Emerging Entrepreneur dinner, in Newcastle on 12th February 2015.
Fiona will be invited to MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival 2015 in Sheffield in October to compete for the BQ National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year title, alongside other winners from Yorkshire, the North-East and the West Midlands.
She said: “It is a real thrill for me that this unconventional vision – to build a British seaweed brand that nourishes body and soul – has been recognised by business leaders. The award is a great platform for future growth. But now back to the office to make Mara emerge out of the emerging category."
Shortlisted entrants were chosen on the basis of entrepreneurial character, business performance, business strategy, business impact, innovation and personal values. The dinner hosted by BBC home editor, Mark Easton, was held in conjunction with MADE, an annual festival of entrepreneurship, described as a Glastonbury for Business.
BQ Scotland Editor Kenny Kemp said: “The Scottish judges were impressed with Mara Seaweed, their amazing products and what has been achieved. We take our hat’s off to Fiona and Alexandra for turning something so common-place into an exotic food product. This is great start to the year considering this is the Scottish Year of Food and Drink.”
Fiona Houston said, after receiving the award, “we are shocked and absolutely delighted to have won the BQ Scotland Emerging Entrepreneur award and this will help us raise our profile across the UK. We are actively raising funds so we can ramp up production, take on more staff and start to export our unique Scottish product.”
Mara Seaweed chairman Robin Worsnop, chief executive of Rabbies’ small tours and an investor, said that while specialist chefs are now cooking with the dried seaweed flakes instead of salt, there were potential health benefits. “Increasingly, we are talking about the healthy aspect of the flakes. It is high in levels of iodine, which is often deficient in women.”
Read the BQ Live articles here:
New entrepreneur emerges from Scotland
Scottish seaweed is cream of BQ awards crop