Technology business owner and Managing Director Leanne Bonner-Cooke will be accepting her most prestigious award to date and adding the letters ‘MBE’ to the end of her name in May 2018.
Leanne who runs software development business Evolve-IT Consulting Ltd in The Midlands, recently discovered her name had been submitted to The Queen in a letter detailing her appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2018 Honours List, by order of The Prime Minister.
Leanne will receive the MBE for Services to Women in Business, something she is extremely passionate about as a woman leading a technology business which provides software solutions and professional services to blue chip corporations across multiple industries. Evolve specialise in working with businesses in the Construction, Pharmaceuticals, FMCG and Retail sectors and have customers across the UK and internationally.
Recognised with a ‘Businesswoman of the Year’ award in 2017, and a trophy for ‘International Business of the Year’ amongst many others, Leanne isn’t unfamiliar with awards and accreditations in association with her successful enterprise grade software development business, celebrating its 11th year in 2018. However, being awarded an MBE is something Leanne had never dreamt of;
“My husband and I were on holiday in Bali when we got the news, which was a welcome distraction as the volcano there was causing huge problems at the time – we thought we were going to be stuck there for a while. My Father sent me a message telling me I’d had a letter from the Home Office and a picture of the contents; I was thrilled with the news and had no idea I had been put forward, I couldn’t quite believe it.”
Leanne has watched Evolve grow year after year in the last decade, watching technology trends come and go and worked with countless customers to improve business processes by introducing an Evolve custom-built solution. Constantly staying ahead of the technology curve is key to the success of official ‘Women-Owned’ Evolve and its Managing Director and her latest official royal recognition.
As a ‘hands-on’ MD always looking for a new challenge, Leanne plans to break away their rebate management software solution, ‘e-Bate’, into a stand-alone business in 2018 and is already looking for investment:
“We’ve done lots of research into the rebate space and we know there is a huge opportunity there. Nearly all large corporations have rebate deals between themselves and their suppliers, but we know there’s billions of pounds not being accounted for or claimed, through poor rebate management. e-Bate is an end-to-end rebate management solution that can recover and save our customers a lot of money. In fact, we believe they will see returns within the first 6 months. We think e-Bate has huge potential not just in our target markets, but far, far wider.”
Leanne, also listed in the 2017 ‘BusinessCloud 101 Female Founders of Tech’ will attend a ceremony where she will be presented with her MBE on 9th May by The Queen, or in the name of Her Majesty. The New Year Honours have been presented to individuals for outstanding service to the community and celebrate their centenary this year.
As a pioneering woman in a technology business, the MBE title of ‘Services to Women in Business’ is fitting to Leanne’s professional achievements. Regularly attending inspirational talks and presenting to her peers and associates, Leanne has always done her best to give back to the business community and to help her fellow business people wherever she can.
“I am very proud to be receiving an MBE; it feels surreal! I cannot wait to attend the ceremony and hopefully meet Her Majesty the Queen. This is definitely both my career and lifetime highlight."
Leanne was invited along to give an interview on BBC Radio Leicester earlier this month; you can listen to her chatting with Breakfast Show host Jo Hayward by clicking below.