The judging panel has taken into account the ethical behaviour and environmental initiatives undertaken in the selection of the winner, to be announced tonight.
All four finalists have achieved business success as well as demonstrating leadership in the field of social responsibility say the judges who include Martha Lane Fox, the dotcom pioneer, and Gail Rebuck, chief executive of Random House Publishing who won the award last year.
Three of the contenders have founded and nurtured their own businesses but all four have put time and effort into supporting and developing special interests, the judges feel.
The finalists are: Laura Tenison, founder and managing director of retailer JoJo Maman Bebe, who has been heavily involved in the Nema Foundation, a Mozambique based charity for infant mortality since the start of the venture; Gill Riley, founder and managing director of GGR-UNIC, who has championed equal opportunities for women in a male-dominated industry; Victoria Stapleton who, since starting retail chain Brora back in 1993, says she has kept every employee; and Louise Wymer, director of The Catering Academy, who has gone out of her way to support regional suppliers in buying fresh produce.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2017