Buckden businesswoman in line for national award

A BUCKDEN businesswoman is in line for a national award as Entrepreneur of the Year. Anne Furbank opened her first retail store, Anne Furbank Fashions, in the village s High Street in 1981. Her group now employs 80 people. The organisers of the Specsavers

A BUCKDEN businesswoman is in line for a national award as Entrepreneur of the Year.

Anne Furbank opened her first retail store, Anne Furbank Fashions, in the village's High Street in 1981. Her group now employs 80 people.

The organisers of the Specsavers everywoman in Retail Awards said that, on paper, the odds looked to be stacked against her: Anne had no qualifications or formal retail training, and opened her shop in a small village with no passing trade.

"But the store flourished as a result of Anne's instinctive flair for buying, her perseverance in the face of adversity and, above all, her dedication to delivering first-class customer service," a spokesman added.


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"By 1997, annual sales had reached £2 million. Always seeking out new challenges, Anne purchased the George coaching inn next door to the shop in 2003."

Last year, Anne Furbank Online was launched, and earlier this year, when Anne turned 60, she purchased another shop, Jane of Newmarket, expanding her business into Suffolk and Norfolk.

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"While most people would be contemplating retirement at her age, Anne has instead taken up marathon running and plans to beat the world record for her age category in September. Anne is a remarkable woman who never lets any obstacles get in her ways."

Mrs Furbank, a former Hunts Post Business Awards winner, said: "I've always believed that, if you give excellent service, a welcoming environment and the right product, customers will keep coming back."

Maxine Benson, co-founder of everywoman, added: "These finalists are really showing that women can achieve great success in the retail industry and act as positive role models to others, encouraging them to aim high.

"The UK is renowned for its retail industry and provides the perfect opportunity for a rewarding and successful career, rather than just a job."

The awards will be announced at a ceremony at the Marriott, Grosvenor Square, on September 30 and are also supported by the Government's national Make Your Mark in Retail Campaign and the Women in Retail Network.

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