THE public are being encouraged to get voting as a light is shone on the town’s female entrepreneurs in the first Hampshire Women’s Business Awards.

More than 100 businesses, owned or run by women, have been nominated across the county, with many recognised from the Andover area.

La Di Da Interiors, The Tea Cosy, Totcity, The Content Consultancy, Totally Flawless and Wessex Spirits are among those recognised, in various categories highlighting creativity, community, business enterprise and excellent service.

Hair and make-up artist business Totally Flawless based in Hurstbourne Tarrant is one of the contenders for the Business of the Year Award.

Owner Claire Alexander said: “It is great, it’s exciting it just came out of the blue.

“I had no idea the girls in my team had voted for me, they dropped me a message after though saying we think you deserve it, you are hard working and a great boss. It was really overwhelming.

“Business is just blooming, it is pretty much up to 50 per cent every year we have already got bookings for 2021 so it is pretty manic, I’m always in front of my laptop.”

Hand-crafted gin and spirits brand, Wessex Spirits, founder Kate Griffin said her nomination in the Phenomenal Product category is a big boost to her work.

She said: “I find it quite hard sometimes as I work by myself, it really makes it all feel worthwhile when I get nominated!

“The Hampshire Women in Business Awards is a lovely one to be nominated for as it’s such a supportive group and everyone is so pleased for each other.

“The competition is very tough so I’ll have to keep everything crossed.”

The Hampshire Women’s Business Awards was launched by businesswoman Trudy Simmons, who runs a Facebook group for female tycoons to receive support and guidance in expanding their companies.

In the last six months the forum has doubled to more than 2,300 members and Trudy launched the awards to celebrate its success.

Trudy said: “Women in business need to be celebrated. In general, women rarely shout about their successes, and I wanted to change that.

“I have been blown away by the number of votes that have been cast so far and I’m sure it will only increase.

“It just shows how many amazing business women we have across Hampshire and the amount of support and community there is among female entrepreneurs.”

Voting is open until October 14, ahead of the sell-out awards night in November hosted at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.

To vote, go to