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Female led small aviation media company wins Queen’s Award

A female-led, events and online publishing company that was launched from a garden shed is one of the smallest companies to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade 2019.

Female led small aviation media company wins Queen’s Award
Louisa Whyte: “We are delighted, if a little shocked.”

Specialist Insight Limited was launched in 2010. It is based in Reigate Surrey and employs 15 people. Louisa Whyte is co-founder and managing director.

“We are delighted, if a little shocked, to have been chosen,” says Louisa Whyte, managing director of Specialist Insight. “We are a small company. When we launched in 2010, we never expected to be recognised like this.”

The company focuses on the business jet, helicopter, superyacht markets as well as the future of flight. It runs conferences and events in London, Dubai, Geneva, Singapore, Dorking, Miami and San Francisco.

The award was given to Specialist Insight for consistently growing exports by 550% over six years. Sales and profits have grown every year since launch. Overseas sales account for 85% of all its sales and it has paying customers in 48 countries, says the company.

Louisa is managing director running the company. This is relatively unusual in aviation which is a male-dominated industry – just 4% of airline women are pilots according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots.

“Business aviation is still very male-dominated – although this is changing,” says Louisa Whyte. “We are working hard to change this and try to make sure we have as many high-level women speakers as possible and organise networking events for women.”

The majority of the company is female - 73%. It also organises an annual Women in Aviation cocktail reception at its Corporate Jet Investor London conference.

Specialist Insight is owned by Louisa Whyte (managing director) and her husband Alasdair Whyte (editor). The pair met at publishing company Euromoney Institutional Investor. Louisa ran a conference group focused on airlines and Alasdair edited and published several airline magazines. Louisa and Alasdair had always wanted to run their own business so, after the birth of their second child, they launched Corporate Jet Investor from a shed in the garden.