A BASINGSTOKE entrepreneur is celebrating after striking gold in New York.

Lorraine Ashover, managing director of Minerva Procurement Consultancy Service, won Gold in the Business Services category at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Chuffed to win a Stevie, Lorraine was among 1,200 nominations for the world’s premier awards for women executives, entrepreneurs and the organisations they run.

In total, there were 130 finalists, of which only four were from the UK, at The Stevie Awards evening, held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York.

The success marks another great milestone for the former Basingstoke banker who set up her business two years ago, specialising in procure-ment for schools.

Lorraine, who works from Basepoint Business Centre, in Stroudley Road, said: “It was just an amazing event. It’s great to get that recognition – it was a real confidence boost.

“There were 130 professional people who were the judges who marked each business, from which an average score was given, and those with the highest scores went through to be finalists. What’s nice is that I must have scored highly and impressed a lot of people.”

Clutching her Stevie – made by the same people who make the iconic Oscars and Grammy statuettes – Lorraine was given loud cheers and applause when her achievement was announced at The Enterprise Circle’s national event held at The Hampshire Court Hotel, in Chineham.

Displaying no hint of being jet-lagged, having flown back from New York and being driven back to Basingstoke on Monday, Lorraine was “described as a “stella businesswoman” by the event’s host Nigel Botterill.

He presented Lorraine with an additional award from Entrepreneur Circle – the National Entre-preneur of The Month.

Among the reasons for her winning this latest accolade is that she has increased her turnover by 38 per cent and her net profit by 36 per cent compared with last year.

Lorraine said: “I set the business up in response to feedback from bursas and school business managers at independent schools and academies to help them identify where significant financial savings could be made.”