Looking Back: The Made in Manchester Awards 2021

Monday, 22nd March 2021

This year MIMA was very different to years gone by. For obvious reasons both the interviews and awards themselves took place virtually. Notwithstanding the difficulties the business community, and the world, have faced over the past 12 months, there were a record number of entries this year. Below we have a first-hand view of the MIMA from our Chair of Future pro-manchester and MIMA judge, Laura Guillon of Hall Brown Family Law, and one of this year’s nominees and Future pro-manchester committee member, Kim Nield of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.


Kim Nield – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – Shortlisted for HR / Talent Professional of the Year Award

The MiMA Awards were always something known to me having worked in the Manchester over the last 5 years, and to be nominated, this year – really did mean so much. It was super exciting to receive the “you’ve been shortlisted” email from Shaun (who did a fantastic job of organising everything so brilliantly, by the way! Thank you Shaun!) – and to then see all my fellow nominees on the final shortlist was really fantastic. MiMA received a record number of nominations this year, and that is really amazing, considering what everyone has been through over the last year – Manchester really is the best place to work!

Fast forward to my Zoom interview – and looking back – I spent the week, leading up to my interview, very nervous. But, straight away, the brilliant judges put me at real ease, were very welcoming and I really hadn’t needed to feel quite so nervous! It was great to meet them virtually, and despite how nervous I was, it was definitely one of the highlights of the whole process.

Of course, we would have all liked to have attended the Awards night in person, but unfortunately, like many things this year, creative thinking was needed for a virtual awards night. I purchased my raffle tickets, and my cheese & wine package, and I settled down for a brilliant evening ahead (in my slippers of course!). I didn’t win on the night – but I absolutely loved seeing fellow young professionals across Manchester scooping the MiMA awards – it really was fabulous to watch, and all of the entertainment along the way was great too. I’m sure all of those that tuned in on the night would agree that future-pro and pro-manchester did a wonderful job, despite the circumstances – and I really hope everyone can get together and have a belated celebration in person, as soon as we’re allowed.

Thank you MiMA for allowing me to be a part of such a brilliant evening, and nominee process – I loved it, and can’t wait to be involved in the Future-pro committee moving forward!”


Laura Guillon – Hall Brown Family Law – Chair of Future Pro-Manchester

I had the honour of becoming Chair of Future pro-manchester in July 2020. My time as Chair so far has not been exactly what I had imagined – so far we have not been able to have a single in person event. However, that did not stop MIMA 2021 from being an incredible night and amazing success.

I must admit, I thought it would be less nerve racking doing a speech to a screen full of people rather than a room full of people but it transpires that is not the case. Having your own face in front of you on a screen is slightly disconcerting.

Covid has of course had an impact on businesses and the young professionals in this city. What was really amazing when reading the hundreds of applications was hearing about how businesses and individuals have tackled unprecedented circumstances to support their colleagues and organisations. These efforts showcased remarkable entrepreneurial creativity, innovation and resilience to adapt to a professional environment that seemed, at times, more like a movie than real life.  As a result of the unprecedented year we’ve had, a new award introduced for this year was the Lockdown Hero award. I was truly honoured to be asked to judge the award and humbled by the incredible things those shortlisted have done.  I do however hope that this year is the only year we have this as a category.

It is perhaps not surprising that in Manchester we have such a great pool of talent.  Reading all the applications made me realise just why this city is so remarkable but also gives me confidence that we will come out of the fight and be bigger and better than ever.

One aspect that concerned me slightly ahead of the awards was whether we would be able to provide as much support as usual for our charity of the year through the raffle. My concern was misplaced – people dug deep both in terms of raffle prize donations and buying raffle tickets. Spoons Neonatal Family Support are our charity of the year and we were able to raise an amazing £3542.00 through the raffle. Thank you so much to all those companies that donated prizes and for everyone who purchased a ticket.

Thank you also to Shaun, everyone working at pro-manchester and the Future pro-manchester committee for all of their hard work that went into making MIMA 2021 an amazing success.


You can view the MiMA 2021 shortlist, winners and watch the event back here – MIMA 2021 – MiMA Home (mimamcr.com)