Rosemary Squire is the first woman to win EY's Entrepreneur of the Year

The co-founder of the Ambassador Theatre Group leads a bumper year for women in business at the awards. Is that the sound of glass cracking?

by Adam Gale
Last Updated: 08 Oct 2014

Rosemary Squire, the co-founder of Ambassador Theatre Group, has become the first woman to win the British edition of the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year award. Squire won the private equity-backed and overall gongs in a ceremony glittering enough for theatre-land itself.

Squire and her husband Sir Howard Panter ‘teamed up 23 years ago with a mama and papa theatre’ to found Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), she said in her speech at the Brewery near London’s Barbican, a Vikingesque banqueting hall draped with fah-bulous azure lights, darling.

It is now overwhelmingly the largest theatre group in the world, with forty venues, including the largest on Broadway. Squire announced on the night that ATG were buying another in New York (though she didn't say which).

Stuart Watson, who heads up the UK awards, had suitably glowing words for the winner. ‘Rosemary’s is a truly inspirational story’, he said. ‘Having started professional life working in the box office, she is now the most powerful woman in British theatre.’ 

ATG is now majority-owned by Providence, a private equity group, though Squire and Panter remain its joint chief executives.

Squire’s victory headlined a strong night for women in business generally. Deborah O’Neil of NovaBiotics won the inaugural Health Products and Services award, while Not On The High Street's Holly Tucker won the Consumer category. Check out the full list below.

Full awards list:

Overall: Rosemary Squire, ATG

Private Equity backed: Rosemary Squire, ATG

International: Steven Gray, ROVOP

Emerging: Nitin Passi, Missguided

Health: Deborah O’Neil, NovaBiotics

Social Enterprise: John Niland, Provide

Business products: Bill Holmes, Radius Payment Solutions

Technology: Hamid Guedroudj, Petroleum Experts

Consumer: Holly Tucker, notonthehighstreet.com

Manufacturing: Robin MacGeachy, Peak Scientific Holdings

Want to meet Britain's highest-flying women? Come to our Inspiring Women event on 20th November to hear from speakers including Thomas Cook boss Harriet Green, Links of London founder Annoushka Ducas and M&S style director Belinda Earl. Check out the progamme and book tickets here.

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