THE 2014 NatWest Venus Awards in Dorset were launched with a call for people to share their stories of amazing women in business.

They were launched at Bournemouth’s Green House Hotel at a gathering of sponsors, supporters, past winners and the mayor and mayoress of Bournemouth.

Tara Howard, pictured, who founded the awards in Bournemouth as the Women in Business Awards, said she was pleased to be launching year five.

“I can’t believe how time has flown and how much has happened since then,” she said.

“We started in Dorset in 2010.

“In 2012, we went to Southampton, then in 2013 we went to Exeter and we also went to Brighton and then to Bristol. This year we’re going to Portsmouth, Oxford and Birmingham, and then Wales.”

The event saw the launch of three new award categories: the Customer Service Award (sponsored by Stewarts Garden Centres), Young Entrepreneur/Manager and Influential Woman of the Year.

The Daily Echo in Bournemouh is sponsoring the Business Mother award.

Other categories are: Employee of the Year (sponsored by Heart Radio), Entrepreneur of the Year (Inspire Accountants), Professional of the Year (Evenlines), Home Based Business Award (Gem Freeman Jewellery), Small Business (Dutton Gregory LLP), Inspirational Woman (Chantal Lockey Training), Lifetime Achievement Award (Move On Rentals), New Business (Nat West), New Media and Online Business (, Employer of the Year and Green Business.

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