THE finalists have been announced for this year’s Dorset Venus Awards for women in business.

The 1,400 nominations for the awards have been whittled down to a shortlist for each of the 15 categories.

Finalists were announced at an afternoon tea at the Carlton Hallmark Hotel in Bournemouth.

Ian Jones, head of regional community partnerships at Bournemouth University – which is sponsoring the Inspirational Woman category – said: “It’s our third year sponsoring Venus and it’s a magnificent thing to do. Each year gets harder to judge and we continue a working relationship with all our semi-finalists”.

BSC-Bournemouth Collegiate School, in its first year of supporting the awards, is backing the Business Mother category, decided by public vote. The charity sponsor is BOO, which helps African children who are disadvantaged through poverty.

The awards, in association with Mercedes-Benz of Poole, culminate in a ceremony on Thursday, November 2 at the BIC.

The finalists are as follows:

Business Mother (sponsor: BCS Collegiate School): Danielle Manton-Kelly, The Wedding Crecherz; Natasha Ray, &Keep; Aly Graham-Gage, Beauty Rediscovered.

Company (Enhanced): Kondor; BH Live; Churchill Retirement Living.

Customer Service (Lovett): Sandy Cristel, Sandy Cristel Holistic Therapies; Sadie Osborne, Sadie Osborne Photography; Jayne Rabone, Home Farm Enterprises.

Director (Marshall Financial Solutions): Mandy Fitzmaurice, Purple HR; Romaine Lawson, Apple House Ltd; Sarah Eades, A-One Insurance Group.

Employer (Shirlaws): Helen Jamieson, Jaluch HR; Simon Hurley, Olives et al; Hazel Hartel, Purbeck Ice Cream.

Entrepreneur (Ceuta Healthcare): Georgina Hurcombe, LoveLove Films; Kate Johnson, Silver Promotions; Victoria Smith, Astara Training Ltd.

HR Manager (MPLOY): Amy Crabb, Agincare; Lee Dyett, Conduent; Kelly Hector, Churchill Retirement Living.

Influential Woman (Mercedes-Benz of Poole): Barbara Cox of BCNutrition Ltd; Lianne Anderson, Vanity Flair; Sarah Ali Choudhury.

Inspirational Woman (Bournemouth University): Angela Piromalli, Rock Recruitment Solutions; Sarah Ali Choudhury; Vicki Tongeman.

Inspirational Woman in STEM (ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK): Bobbie White, Soroptimist International of Bournemouth; Helen McCarthy, Royal Bournemouth Hospital; Rowena Revill, Ltd. (t/a Dorset Creative)

Lifetime Achievement (Luxurycare): Mary Reader, Christchurch Food and Wine Festival Education Trust and Highcliffe Revival Food Festival; Romaine Lawson, Apple House Ltd; Samantha Everard, Samee.

Marketing & PR sponsored by (SMASH:Club): Claire Timbrell, The MacGuffin Project; Hayley O'Shea, Talbot Heath School; Gemma Morgan, Hallmark Hotels.

Musical Talent: Nicole Darson, Do You Hear the People Sing?; Jenny Oag, Jenny Oag Music; Samantha Laurilla, Samantha Laurilla Music.

Networker of the Year (Pure Networking): Dawn Crossingham, Dorset Growth Hub; Freya Ells, Cold Banana Studio; Lucienne Elms, Horse Scout.

Small Business (Dutton Gregory Solicitors): Aly Graham-Gage, Beauty Rediscovered; Jaya Da Costa, Pause Cat Café; Rosanna Mead, Musica Music and Wellbeing.