From education to employment

Local Business wins regional Inclusivity Award for unique neurodiversity campaigns

Iveta winning award

On the 27th of April 2024 Iveta Pudilova (22), co-founder of Birmingham-based start-up, Happy Autistic Lady LTD, won the Inclusivity Award at the Inspirational Youth Awards 2024, competing against more than 400 other entries.

The Inspirational Youth Awards were founded by Ifraz Ahmed and Anita Chumber, and took place for the second time. The awards aim to celebrate and acknowledge outstanding young talent in the region. The award ceremony was the perfect way for the Happy Autistic Lady team to celebrate the end of World Autism Awareness Month. In an event that included almost 500 attendees including finalists, sponsors, industry leaders, and community members.

Daniel Bridgewater, Inspirational Youth Awards Judge, CEO of Buckt said

“The quality of applications this year was exceptional. From youth activists to the best up-and-coming entrepreneurs, the awards shone a light on young talent across the country.
Iveta won in the Inclusivity Award. Her application showcased her amazing commitment to empowering neurodivergent individuals, raising awareness, and fostering inclusivity, with a clear demonstration of the impact created for those that she works with. She was a deserved winner, and hopefully this award can help her go on to greater things”

This award acknowledged the work of an organisation dedicated to creating lasting impact and promoting inclusivity and a sense of belonging in the East and West Midlands communities. The judges were seeking an individual who has shown commitment to eliminating discrimination, championing diversity, equality, and inclusion, and creating safe and welcoming environments where everyone can thrive. With Iveta from Happy Autistic Lady fitting all the criteria.

Happy Autistic Lady was launched in 2020 when co-founder and sister Vera was diagnosed autistic. Growing up, Vera and Iveta felt out of place, misunderstood, and unsupported. It wasn’t until they learnt they were neurodivergent, that suddenly everything made sense. Since then, the two sisters have been on a mission to raise awareness about the gender diagnosis gap, destigmatise mental health and neurodiversity, and foster a society where everyone can thrive. 

Founded in Birmingham, Happy Autistic Lady received recognition for empowering and raising awareness about the barriers faced by neurodivergent people in education and the workplace. 37% of Autistic students alone drop out of university, because of a lack of support and inclusion. That’s 8,000 students’ worth of lost tuition every academic year

Iveta Pudilova, CEO and Co-Founder of Happy Autistic Lady said:

“As a small family-owned business we were delighted to have won the Inclusivity Award. Being a neurodiversity and inclusivity start-up whose primary target market is educational institutions, we need to highlight the barriers neurodivergent and disabled students face in education and employment that are often overlooked. After all, 37% of Autistic students drop out of university because of a lack of support. When a student told me that Happy Autistic Lady made them “feel so empowered and proud of being a disabled UoB student”, I knew that our work is valuable and needed.”

Supported by the University of Birmingham’s Elevate start-up incubator, Iveta and her fully neurodivergent team deliver neurodiversity-themed campaigns, consultancy, training, and branded merchandise with an inclusive twist. Happy Autistic Lady provides neurodiversity training for staff members and public speaking to empower students at prestigious higher education institutions such as Aston University and the University of Birmingham. Happy Autistic Lady’s training is tailored to their clients to bring tangible benefits and ensure ethical and legal compliance with the Disability Act and the soon-to-be-imposed Neurodiversity Screening Bill.

Happy Autistic Lady is now looking to partner with other schools and businesses in the region and continue to promote acceptance and awareness about neurodivergence.

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