A Tamworth director has been named the top woman entrepreneur in the world for her work in the business forensics field.
Deborah Leary, founder and chief executive of Forensic Pathways, won the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs (FCEM) 2007 International Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Cairo, beating off competitors from more than 60 countries from around the world.
She has built up Forensic Pathways to the point where it has an impressive list of government agencies and international companies using its technology to uncover serious risk, crime and threats.
The company is spearheading advanced forensic analytics, which is increasing in importance in a global climate of concern over identity, terrorism, money laundering, fraud and national/international security at all levels.
She founded the company in 2001, and it has been showered with awards in the last six years. The company now employs 10 workers at the site in Tamworth, plus a network of agents working around the world in countries including Canada, the US and Pakistan.
Ms Leary is also a board member on the Midlands World Trade Forum and deputy chairman of the United Nations UK Global Compact Network.
Ms Leary said: "I believe this award has immense value to the country in terms of our stance on innovation and entrepreneurship, both of which focus high on government and private sector agendas.
"It is essential that as a country we not only talk about these subjects but also take action in order that we ensure a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
"Finally, I hope that this award signifies to other women who are either thinking of building a company, taking an idea to market, or specialising in the field of science and technology that everything and anything is possible.
"The key to success no matter who you are lies in the power of belief and the support networks you engage with."
She was presented with her award by FCEM world president Francoise Foning at the 55th World Congress of the group - set up in France in 1945 to recognise the achievements of women entrepreneurs around the world.
Tanya Hine, president of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs, who supported Ms Leary in her bid, said the award was an inspiration to women entrepreneurs, adding: "The competition was fierce with submissions from many countries, in spite of that the judges were unanimous in their vote."