BUSINESSWOMEN in Mid Devon are being invited to enter the The Devon Venus Business Women Awards - and their friends, families and colleges to nominate them.

The 2014 awards officially opened for nominations at a glamorous launch party in Exeter last month where Devon's business men and women were welcomed at Amanda Marsden Lifestyle Salon by event organiser Celia Delaney of SpeakingSuccess and Venus Awards founder Tara Howard.

The awards aim to celebrate and recognise the achievements of the county’s working women and entrepreneurs.

Celia and Tara introduced the categories and officially opened the online nominations for Devon as part of an evening targeted to impress the high powered women of the county, with food provided at the event by city caterers Lloyds Kitchen and massages and makeup advice provided by Amanda Marsden.

Devon’s first event was held last year and attracted almost 1,500 nominations. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

Talking about the phenomenal growth of the Awards, Tara, herself a business woman and mother of four, commented: “It really is inspiring to see how much support and enthusiasm there is for the awards and what a difference they can make.

“Devon generated more nominations than any other region last year and it would be great to see if we can top it this year.

"The awards really do make a difference - I’ve even had past winners confess to me that the awards have changed their lives: that’s really powerful, and drives me forward to expand, and launch the awards in new regions to recognise more deserving women.”

Speaking about the Awards, Celia Delaney from SpeakingSuccess said: “There are so many hard-working women in Devon who truly deserve to be celebrated for their remarkable contribution to local business.

"It takes just five minutes to nominate online at – it makes a real difference and the finalists will be invited to attend the Grand Awards at Exeter University on 21st November 2014 – the social event of the year for working women - when the winners will be announced!”

The Awards, which celebrate the vital input of women in business, will this year see local working women competing in 15 award categories, including:

NatWest - Small Business of the Year – for a business with less than 12 employees

HeartFM – Business Mother of the Year – for working mothers

The Exeter Daily – Employee of the Year – for women employed by men or women

Bishop Fleming – Entrepreneur of the Year – for a woman that is prepared to takes risks in business

Sandler Training - Employer of the Year – For male or female managers that look after their female employees.

Western Morning News - Inspirational Woman – A woman that indulges in selfless support of others or has overcome adversity

Stones Solicitors LLP - New Business – for business less than 2 years old

Sampson Hall – Business of the Year – for a business with more than 12 employees

Leading Women UK – Influential Woman – for someone who motivates others and makes a difference.

High Achiever – for the woman that has broken through the corporate glass ceiling – Available for sponsorship

Green Business – for businesses with some green initiatives – Available for sponsorship.

Home Based Business – For businesses run from home - Available for sponsorship.

New Media and Online Business – Excelling in social media of with 50%+ business online.

Customer Service Award – For the individual or business that goes that extra mile.

Lifetime achievement award – A lady over 35 who has been successful for many years.

Using the simple online nomination process, you are encouraged to nominate a friend, relative, work colleague, your boss, employee, client, or anyone you feel worthy of an award.

“We’ve invested a lot into the technology behind the Venus Awards, to make it as quick and simple as possible, for both those nominating and those finding themselves nominated,’ explained Tara.

“What better way to thank and celebrate the efforts of the women in your life? Not wanting the men to miss out, the Employer of the year can also be won by a man, so go for it guys!”

To nominate your favourite working women in Devon you can go to For business wishing to connect with the ever more powerful women in business, there are still a few categories available for sponsorship.

There are 15 possible categories this year and entrants can find more information by visiting