A BUSINESSWOMAN from Monmouthshire has been presented with a special plaque to celebrate her innovation.

The unveiling ceremony of Fanzi Down's purple plaque was held at Trellech Primary School on Monday, November 15.

Ms Down was guest of honour and spoke to schoolchildren about what innovation was and how any one of them could folow her example.

Ms Down, of DPS Designs, has won the Women in Innovation Award from Innovate UK, who marked the achievement by unveiling a purple plaque in her honour on the school site. 

A twist on the familiar blue plaque, Innovate UK has introduced a series of purple plaques to recognise the achievements of some of the female innovators it supports.

The award also sees recipients receive £50,000.


Ms Down won theWomen in Innovation Award with her business DPS Designs, a design, moulding and toolmaking businesses.

The company specialises in two different sectors: design and mould making for the chocolate manufacturing industry, and a toolmaker for the aerospace industry.

She said: "It's absolutely amazing.

"Growing up in China, now living here – it was not something I was expecting even as recently as 10 years ago. Also, as a woman of colour.

"It's been treat to show the children what can be achieved.

"The sky is the limit if you work hard. Anything is possible.

"Do the best that you can, be a little bit better every day.

"Celebrate all those steps every day."

Currently, just 14 per cent of blue plaques in the UK celebrate the achievements of women.

This highlights a national issue of the under-representation of women in the media, the workplace and in the education system, resulting in a lack of relatable role models for children and young people.

"I was in Windsor this week," she said, after having met Prince Charles.

"My parents were thrilled. They said they could never imagine me meeting royalty.

"The UK is such an amazing place for businesses to thrive. If you work hard there’s opportunity to thrive.

"Not a lot of places have that."