The achievements of the south’s most inspirational businesswomen were celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony last night.

During the past few months the public nominated and voted for the most deserving women.

But now the judges have had their say and the winners of this year’s Natwest Venus Awards have been announced.

Last night the 39 finalists donned their best frocks for the event, hosted by Heart radio presenter Zoe Hanson at St Mary’s Stadium.

Among the winners was Sarah Hibbert, who was named Southern Daily Echo Business Mother of the Year.

Since she launched her glass engraving company, Charmed Glass, three years ago the 45-year-old has juggled running her company with looking after her nine-year-old daughter and two sons aged 14 and 16.

Founder of the Venus Awards, Tara Howard, said: “I would like to extend a massive congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Venus Awards – you all looked sensational last night.

“The Venus Awards, now in its fourth year, has expanded hugely since the inaugural awards back in 2010.

“I am immensely proud of how the awards have grown to give phenomenal women in the work place and businesses all across the country the recognition they deserve.

“This year the competition reached a new standard of excellence and it was an absolute honour to attend the Southampton awards.”

The winners of each category were given a crystal award and Natasha Jones, of Baby Resuscitation, who was crowned Influential Woman of the Year, will also get to drive a new Volkswagen car for a weekend thanks to sponsors Peter Cooper Volkswagen.

They will go head to head with businesswomen from across the country at the national finals at Audleys Wood Hotel in Basingstoke in January.