THREE Woking businesswomen have won awards given to small to medium-sized enterprises.

Dueyna Chinere, Zara Mizen and Sarah Brouner won their categories in the SME Surrey Business Awards.

They are now finalists in national awards that will be given at a ceremony at Wembley Stadium in December.

Dueyna is the branch leader of The Family Network West Surrey, which meets at the Woking FC stadium. She won the Networking Group category.

”It’s always a great feeling to be recognised but getting to share that with others makes it even better,” Dueyna said.

“The fact that Zara and Sarah also won made it so rewarding. We are like one big family so I feel like a very proud mum.

“Our West Surrey branch is full of fantastic businesses and I hope this achievement will encourage more to join and see how we can support them and put themselves forward for awards.”

Zara won Young Business Person of the Year for running Koala Kids Parties.

She studied performing arts at the University of Surrey and then spent several years working as an entertainer for a children’s party organiser.

Zara, who lives in Old Woking, set out on her own in 2019, running themed children’s parties in homes and other venues, performing as the birthday boy or girl’s favourite character from books, films and TV series.

After spending the early pandemic lockdown doing video calls with the proceeds going to charity, Zara ran parties on Zoom for groups of children and also helped parents with homeschooling.

“We’re fully live again and we learnt so much from the lockdown doing online school workshops.

“Some of the schools have had us back in person,” she said.

Zara is so much in demand that she has taken on four entertainers and is training more.

“We’re fully booked three months in advance,” she said.

Zara said winning the SME award at a ceremony at Epsom racecourse felt surreal.

“I still can’t believe it’s happened. There were a lot of happy tears.

“It is really nice to be recognised for all the hard work and passion and Koala Kids having grown from being my baby,” Zara said.

Sarah won the Service Excellence award for SB Tutoring, in which she teaches science and maths to secondary-age children and numeracy for adults.

She started the business in 2017 after leaving full-time work as a hospital scientist to have children.

Sarah, who lives in Goldsworth Park, had mentored colleagues and still wanted to use her knowledge of science and pass it on.

“I thought I’d start tutoring and it started at two hours a week. I soon realised that this is what I’m meant to be doing,” she said.

Sarah teaches in person and online in Woking, Guildford, the surrounding areas and farther afield, with one student living in the Middle East.

“In the daytime I work with children who have fallen out of mainstream school for one reason or another,” she said.

“The demand has just exploded. I absolutely love it. I particularly love working with teenagers.”

Sarah won her SME award after entering for the first time, encouraged by winning the National Professional Tutor of the Year award from The Tutors’ Association last year.

“That really helped,” she said.

“It’s given me the confidence to go forward and put my name out there a bit more and all of a sudden you get another award.

“It’s super exciting,” Sarah said.