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Four Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs and Pioneers

Thought Leader

Four Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs and Pioneers

Virgin Media Pioneers is home to a community of 10,000 entrepreneurs, 55% of which are female. To celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our female Pioneers we're introducing you to some strong, successful and striving women who have created fantastic commercial success as well as implementing huge social impact goals into their businesses which have made a difference to many lives.


Ronke Oke


Ronke Oke is a serial award winning entrepreneur and long-time Pioneer. Several years after she founded her first business Bread + Butter PR she was ready for a new challenge. It is then that Ronke created skincare brand Emi & Ben, when she was reminded just how brilliant unrefined shea butter was as a natural moisturiser for her and her new baby girl’s skin. The lack of products in the UK that contained unrefined Shea butter, something that was so commonly used in her Nigerian heritage, gave her the idea to start her own skin-care brand. Not only has Ronke developed a quality range of products but she has pledged herself to help the West African communities where Shea butter is typically found, by working directly with local harvesters. By using this workforce of West African Women she empowers them to support their families and communities. Ronke has featured as a Virgin Media Pioneers ambassador for years, starring as a poster girl on our homepage and being part of the team to actually create Virgin Start-Up. Ronke has many awe-inspiring achievements including most recently being mentioned in the Queens New Years Honours List and being awarded a BEM!


Kelly Perks-Bevington


Kelly Perks-Bevington owns and runs her luxury lifestyle management business G5 Lifestye. Her day job is far from a 9-5 and sees her sorting the affairs of some of the UK’s most elite sporting professionals. Hardworking, trusted, slick and ready for anything, Kelly juggles the hectic lives of her clients whilst fronting campaigns surrounding disability. Kelly herself is a wheel-chair user and has incorporated this condition into her life in a hugely positive way becoming part of high profile campaigns such as Scope's #EndTheAwkward which was also supported by Channel 4. She is an ambassador for the disability charity Scope and has modelled for #UndressingDisability by Enhance UK. Kelly uses her warm, open and likeable personality to shine a light on the issues that disabled people face and blogs about it all whilst building her personal brand at  A rising star, Kelly has already worked with some huge names and won’t be slowing down any time soon!


Zoe Jackson
Zoe portrait
Zoe Jackson was one of the first ever Pioneers, and as her dreams have grown so have her achievements and our admiration for her. At 16, Zoe was an enthusiastic dancer and aspired to attend a performing arts college but found that the expensive fees would hold her back. Instead of feeling defeated, it seems her entrepreneurial spirit had kicked in from a young age and Zoe decided to set up her own dance school, teaching children performing arts to fund her studies. Named, Living The Dream Performing Arts Company, Zoe was not only doing just that, but helping other young people live their dreams too. Nearly a decade later her dreams have only got bigger. Zoe now owns not only her performing arts school but a professional dance company and a charity, Living The Dream Foundation. Zoe’s passion to help young people fulfil their potential saw her awarded an MBE by Prince William in June 2015 for services to young entrepreneurs and the performing arts. Amazingly this wasn’t the end of recognition from the Royal Family for Zoe, as the Queen presented Zoe with the first ‘Queen’s Young Leaders Award’ which recognises 60 young people across the common wealth contributing to their communities.


Sarah Hilleary
Sarah portrait

Sarah started her gluten free treats company B-Tempted in real entrepreneur style, from her own kitchen with very limited resources. Since then her business has gone from strength to strength and her delicious but health conscious cakes are now stocked in some of the most prestigious stores you could imagine including Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges. Sarah has been disciplined and incredibly hard-working on her journey from City worker to start-up founder using not only her creativity in the kitchen but her marketing and business savvy to promote B-Tempted and gain fantastic exposure. Not only is Sarah successful and smart, she’s friendly and approachable too. This is one of the reasons you will find her all over the Virgin Media Pioneers website and why we consider her an incredible ambassador for our brand. Sarah has also just been announced as a launch brand on a new small producer initiative at Tesco where she will receive priceless mentoring, support and the opportunity to grow her business further.