THE founder of an Altrincham insurance business has won the Centenary Woman of the Year.

Carole Nash, who set up the business in her name, which is a leading motorcycle insurance broker won the award at the inaugural event This Is Manchester.

Carole picked up the award as recognition for her contribution to the region.

She set the business up from her dining room table back in 1985 following redundancy and grew the company from five staff in the first two years to 40 employees by the time the first office opened in Timperley in 1989.

From then on the business has grown to more than 400 staff at its current offices in Altrincham and Dublin, providing insurance cover to more than 300,000 motorcycles in the UK and Ireland.

Although no longer formally involved in the business – Carole decided to sell in 2006 to spend time with her family – the insurance firm retains her name and has grown to become one of the UK’s leading specialist motorcycle insurance brokers.

Carole beat competition from a strong shortlist of other inspirational female entrepreneurs and prominent figureheads in the community to win the award, which was introduced to celebrate 100 years of female suffrage.

Patron to both the Alderley Edge Music Festival and Bowden Music Festival, Carole is well-known for being a philanthropist, supporting a number of charities in the area. In 2012 she was awarded an OBE for her contributions.

Ian Donaldson, the firm’s boss said: “Carole made an immense contribution to both the insurance industry and her home city, so this award is a fitting tribute to reward her achievements.

“Many of the staff who worked with Carole remain in the business today, which is testament to the amazing work she did building the company up from her kitchen more than 30 years ago.

“On behalf of everyone at Carole Nash, we would like to congratulate Carole on this fantastic accomplishment.”