Janna Horsthuis, Managing Director, Robinson's

Robinson’s Janna Horsthuis on Natwest everywoman shortlist

A wholesaler based on the Isle of Man is in the running to win a top award for her inspirational work.

Robinson’s Managing Director Janna Horsthuis is one of four women in the final of the Hera award at the 2020 NatWest everywomen Awards, which recognises the achievements of the UK’s leading female entrepreneurs.

Horsthuis’s category is for the most inspirational women running a business trading for more than 10 years and will go up against three other women who ply their trade in different industries.

The online award ceremony will be held on Thursday 3 December, with a string of special guests including Vivienne Westwood, Prue Lieth and Trinny Woodall set to be in attendance.

Horsthuis is the fifth-generation of Robinson’s, which is Isle of Man’s largest food distributor and employs 175 staff.

As like many others in the wholesale sector, she’s faced a difficult 2020, with the business being owed £4 million by customers and £3 million in stock, meaning Robinson’s would struggle to maintain its public-sector contracts to supply prisons, care homes and hospitals.

But instead of accepting that situation, Horsthuis took her case to the Isle of Man government, prioritised payment to suppliers and switched a retail model overnight – creating £6 million in projected first-year sales.

Her actions to save the business were enough to be recognised by the judges.

The awards ceremony will be shown live on 3 December by registering before the night.

coronavirus covid-19 foodservice hospitality Isle of Man Janna Horsthuis NatWest everywoman Awards Robinson's wholesaler