We are delighted to announce that Ali McGrath, business engagement and relationship advisor at The Women’s Organisation, last night picked up the award for Mentor of the Year at the Northern Power Women Awards 2022.
With a background in corporate banking, Ali has innate knowledge of the business finance sector and has established a powerful network of business enablers in the North West. A natural connector and facilitator, Ali has utilised her knowledge and contacts to help hundreds of women and men through her role at The Women’s Organisation and The Enterprise Hub.
Ali also dedicates much of her personal time to providing guidance, advice and support for people setting up in business. She has helped more than 2,500 businesses over six years as part of Entrepreneurs in Residence clinics at Liverpool Central Library, completely free of charge.
The clinics are run by deputy mayor, Councillor Gary Millar, who says Ali has been a “champion and stalwart”.
He added: “Ali joined my scheme early in 2015 and has been actively involved in mentoring individuals every week since – impartially, independently and wonderfully. She has helped make connections, source funding, opened doors and much more for thousands of women and men. She is one of the very best mentors I have met and a very deserving winner of this award.”
CEO of The Women’s Organisation, Maggie O’Carroll, said: “This award serves as much deserved recognition for our inspirational colleague, who is generous with her time and knowledge, and passionate about helping businesses succeed and grow.
“Be it simply in the form of a home-cooked meal and a listening ear, Ali really does go above and beyond for the people she helps. Over the years, Ali has provided support, guidance and advice beyond measure and has been instrumental in the journeys of hundreds of thriving local businesses.
“This award quite rightly acknowledges Ali’s many achievements, her passion and her absolute dedication to the people she supports and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Since the end of lockdown, Ali has also established an informal women-only networking club, First Friday. Ali invites groups of up to 30 women to connect in a casual and unpressurised environment, get to know one another and establish ways of working together, promoting one another and support one another’s growth.
Ali says that facilitating this informal peer to peer networking brings her personal satisfaction, as the value in the network is already palpable.
On being nominated for her award, Ali said: “Without mentors, people can face barriers and challenges with no one to connect them to the answers or solutions. They can doubt themselves when, in fact, they have all the capability to succeed.
“What is the point in knowledge if it isn’t shared? What is the point in being if we aren’t making things easier for someone else?”
A full list of the evening’s winners can be found here.