Luxury agent recognised among ‘top female entrepreneurs to watch’

Luxury travel agent Sheena Sumner has been recognised in the 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch List – an initiative launched by Telegraph Media Group and NatWest PLC celebrating female-founded businesses in the UK.

Sumner set up homeworking agency Wonderluxe Travel in 2019 and specialises in tailor-made travel and experiences for the leisure and corporate markets. 

She recently unveiled plans to take on self-employed agents as part of an affiliate programme to grow her brand presence in the market and is in the process of moving into offices in Derby. Wonderluxe Travel also has aspirations to open its first high-street shop next year.

The 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch List was unveiled in The Telegraph over the weekend, with Sumner invited to a parliamentary reception with Caroline Nokes MP on Monday (November 21) alongside other nominees.

Those on the list earn a range of benefits to boost their business including mentorship, an enterprise ‘health check’, media coverage, support from female-led corporate advisor and private investment network the Adelpha Group, possible investment from the Astia Fund, dinner with senior Coutts and NatWest executives, and £10,000 investment from NatWest.

Sumner said it was an “absolute honour and privilege” to be included on the list. 

“Since starting my business, Wonderluxe Travel, back in 2019, just 10 short months before the global pandemic, I didn’t think I’d be writing this post three years later,” she said.

“The last three years have been filled with ups and downs and, at times, [has been] daunting, but throughout it all, I’ve kept on going because I genuinely love what I do. I’m continually grateful to have turned my passion into a career and genuinely thankful to everyone who has been there and helped me along my journey.

“I’d like to congratulate the other 99 very talented and passionate women who’ve developed and nurtured their businesses to where they are today.”

Other businesses on the list range from tech and communications to retail and professional services, with the judge’s choice award going to 27-year-old luxury hair oil founder Erim Kaur.

NatWest chief executive Alison Rose said the standard of applicants had been “high”, with a “great mix of entrepreneurs from all industries, geographical regions and personal backgrounds”.

She added: “The ambition and resilience of the business owners came across strongly in the applications. Their successes are remarkable and how they explained they would benefit from being part of The 100 made an impression. I’m confident we have some of the most exciting high potential female-owned businesses included in The 100.”

Related Articles

Serandipians to cap global agent network at 600

Cruise365 founder sets up new Bucket List Travel brand

Peakes Travel Elite opens luxury lounge for clients