Anne Timpany was named as the winner in the Athena category (businesses 6-9 years old) in the 15th annual NatWest everywoman Awards, the UK’s most prestigious initiative recognising the achievements of female entrepreneurs.
After leaving New Zealand to travel the world and develop her career in hospitality, Anne found herself in London in 2003, where she met her Albanian husband Raff who was working as a plumber. Realising that their combined skills meant that they could start up on their own, they founded On Tap Plumbers in 2010.
Anne became pregnant and spent hours networking and on the phone to drum up business for her husband. In 2014 they decided to focus entirely on commercial plumbing and since then their business has soared. Despite facing difficulties trying to break into the often insular construction industry, in just three years they are now invited to tender for major developments and have 50 plumbers and seven apprentices across seven construction sites in London. (As well as their seven year old son, they also have two more children, aged five and three)
As a result of Anne’s entrepreneurial skills and their combined hard work, On Tap Plumbers have worked as contractors on some of London’s most iconic buildings – The Leadenhall Building ‘The Cheesegrater’, 20 Fenchurch St ‘The Walkie Talkie’, Leicester Square, the Facebook Headquarters and they are currently working on Wood Wharf a major development in Canary Wharf.
Finding the best commercial plumbers and retaining their services is always a challenge, but this has been especially compounded by Brexit as 45% of the London construction workforce is from overseas. Anne is passionate about educating the next generation of commercial plumbers in the UK to help combat the desperate skilled shortage and also to develop more homegrown talented skilled workers. She proactively visits London colleges to talk to and inspire students to consider a rewarding career path that offers so much potential. The company is also developing its own Training and Development programme and an apprenticeship programme with special focus on finding female apprentices, advocating diversity in the industry.
Anne says “I was completely overwhelmed when Ingrid Devin from Dell announced my name as the winner in the Athena award category. I was up against two extraordinary women and truly did not expect to win at all. I was genuinely thrilled to have got as far as being a finalist and just enjoyed the lovely awards lunch and ceremony. This award is a real acknowledgement for On Tap Plumbers and how far my wonderfully supportive husband Raff and I have come. We just want to continue our success and growth while appreciating every step we take.
“We have a great team behind us and our Christmas party next week, with our plumbers, apprentices, site supervisors, managers and office staff is going to be a chance to share this celebration with everyone. It’ll be a great night!”
Selected by a judging panel of 18 of the country’s most successful businesswomen including Chrissie Rucker MBE, Cath Kidston MBE, Rosaleen Blair CBE and Poonam Gupta OBE, this year’s finalists were chosen for the drive, ambition and tenacity they demonstrate in the face of adversity.
Research by NatWest Business has revealed that female entrepreneurs have contributed 77,000 new jobs and over £3.5 billion to the UK economy, via 100,000 new businesses over a 12 month period..
Maxine Benson MBE, Co-founder at everywoman comments: “When we created these awards 15 years ago to champion women in enterprise, little did we know the stories we would uncover and the phenomenal women we would meet. Over the years we have been delighted to learn of the impact these awards have had on previous winners. We believe women from all backgrounds should have a platform to share their success stories and highlight what can be achieved even when faced with life’s biggest challenges. This year’s winners are a true testament to the breadth of female talent in this country and we wish them all continued success.”