Wirral-born entrepreneur Thea Green, founder of Nails Inc, was among young women honoured at the Women of the Future Awards in London last night.

Thea founded the cosmetics group at the age of 24 and ten years later, the business has a turnover of £11.5m and employs more than 450 people nationwide.

Crowning her with the "Entrepreneurial Woman of the Future Award," the judges commented that Thea "epitomised the word entrepreneur" due to her creativity, ingenuity and ambition.

Brought up in Hoylake, Thea learnt about business from both her father, who was a company director of Littlewoods, the retail group, and her mother, who owned a snooker hall.

After leaving school at 18, she did a degree in public relations and journalism at the London College of Fashion.

On Friday afternoons she would help sort out clothes for the fashion desk at the Daily Mail newspaper and then Tatler magazine.

On graduating, she was offered a job with Tatler as fashion co-oordinator, and gradually worked her way up to fashion editor at the age of 24.

The awards - in association with Shell and hosted by Real Business – champion young women aged 35 and under who are making an impact in their chosen field, and have for the last five years celebrated the rising stars of business, the arts, science, technology and the media.

Thea's award was presented by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the enormous contribution women make to our society, not least to our economy.

"It is absolutely right that we recognise these individuals for their talent and their phenomenal achievements.

"Their stories are an inspiration to young women – and young men – everywhere.”

Other winners honoured at the awards include 16-year-old London schoolgirl Tabitha Manzuangani who won the Young Star Award for her pioneering scientific research and charitable work.

Successful playwright Bola Agbaje, best known for her award winning play Gone Too Far, and Gemma Tuley - who left Gordan Ramsey’s Claridge’s to become the head chef at top London restaurant Manson - also received accolades.