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THEY are the awards that celebrate the best businesswomen in Hampshire.

And a glamorous launch event at Southampton’s historic Grand Cafe got the ball rolling on this year’s NatWest Venus Awards.

Past winners, nominees and sponsors came together to mark the launch of the third set of awards in Hampshire, which will recognise the achievements of businesswomen in Southampton and the SO postcode region.

Nominations for this year’s awards are now open, with the deadline for submissions on March 8.

The winners will be named at an awards ceremony at St Mary’s Stadium on June 24.

Categories for the awards include Best Small Business, Lifetime Achievement and the Daily Echo Business Mother of the Year.

To find out how to nominate someone, visit southampton.venusawards.co.uk.