The numbers of businesswomen applying and being nominated for the Portsmouth Venus Awards have exceeded all expectations.
The awards, sponsored by The News, recognise the vital contributions women in business make to the local, regional and national economy.
It was set up by Tara Howard in 2009 in Dorset and has since spread nationally.
Now in its third year, the Portsmouth the Venus Awards has attracted 1,100 applications and nominations in one or more of the categories to date.
With nominations remaining open until next Thursday and applications until January 20, there is still time to nominate and apply and make it the best year yet.
Spearheading the awards locally is Mary Burgess of Mary Burgess Hypnotherapy, whose business is based in Emsworth.
She said: ‘As regional partner for Portsmouth and following on from my Venus Award win last year, I am keen to ensure this year’s awards are bigger and we continue to recognise the talents of women in the region.’
Peter Cooper Volkswagen Group is associate sponsor of the awards for the third year running and is also sponsoring the influential woman category.
Other sponsors of the Portsmouth Venus Awards include the University of Portsmouth Business School, Dynamite Recruitment, Changes Clinic, NatWest, Sandler Training, SMART Accountancy, Checkprofessional and Shirlaws.
Sponsoring the ever-popular public vote category of business mother is Heart FM.
Charity sponsor for the Portsmouth Venus Awards is This is Global Make Some Noise, home to eight of the best loved commercial radio stations, and whose aim is to help transform young people’s lives.
Over the next five months the Portsmouth Venus Awards will unfold with a series of events designed to identify the business stars of the region.
Candidates will progress through the various stages to the ultimate point of becoming a category winner.
Winners will then progress to the national finals to be held in the summer.
The Portsmouth Venus Awards will culminate in a glamorous ceremony and gala dinner on Friday, May 6 at The Pyramids.
To nominate or apply go to venusawards.co.uk/portsmouth.