Alison Magee-Barker
AJ Lakes Consultancy

Alison impressed us with her drive to raise the profile of female entrepreneurship in Cumbria. Since entering the Enterprise Vision Awards in 2018, Alison has been determined to promote women in business in the county under the hashtag #TeamCumbria.

In her first year as an EVA finalist, Alison arranged events to bring her fellow finalists together culminating in an invitation to the Houses of Parliament by Tim Farron MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale. Encouraging the Cumbrian finalists to pool their resources she enabled the county to be a force to be reckoned with and to stand out against their competitors.

Alison impressed the EVAS judges with her passion for helping businesses in the hospitality industry through her company A J Lakes Consultancy. She is often referred to as “The Hotel Inspector” without the TV crew but with a huge personality. With over 30 years’ experience, she knows the hospitality and tourism industry inside out. Her practical no-nonsense approach helps businesses of all sizes to improve their services, train and develop their team and increase their turnover.

Alison went on to win the Professional Services Award in the 2018 Enterprise Vision Awards.

It didn’t stop there though. Alison continued to be a great advocate for the county. Community over competition is the emphasis, as she encourages women to network and grab opportunities that come their way.

A record 31 Cumbrian women reached the finals of the 2019 Enterprise Vision Awards including Alison who is a finalist in the Training and Coaching category. Many of whom had heard about the EVAS from Alison or as a result of the publicity that #TeamCumbria had engineered.

Alison has been a driving force in organising the 2019 #TeamCumbria to maximise their PR opportunities with a Summer Soiree, a trip to the Houses of Parliament with local MPs Tim Farron and Trudy Harrison and an afternoon tea with the High Sheriff of Cumbria, Marcia Reid-Fotheringham. 

During the awards she said “Last year winning the Professional Services award at the EVAS gave me validation for what I was doing, the confidence to develop my business further. I wanted to inspire other like-minded ladies who were working hard in their businesses that they too could achieve the recognition of this outstanding award.  I have organised a few events to help to bring this to life and give all the ladies a voice, recognition and to be highlighted in Cumbria as outstanding women in business, this is where #TeamCumbria was born.  I am so proud of each and every one of them and hope this year we bring home more awards for Cumbria.”

She has inspired female entrepreneurs to take a step out of their comfort zone and take a chance that could lead to great success.