By Daniel Hunter

The deadline in the UK’s leading awards programme for female entrepreneurs is looming. The long-running initiative, the NatWest everywoman Awards, which is in its 13th year, is closing for nominations on 6 July.

For 2015, the categories have been revised to focus on the age of the business, demonstrating the different achievements and challenges faced by business owners at various stages of the enterprise journey. Two new Awards have been introduced to open up the programme to even more high-achieving women: ‘Mumpreneur’ and ‘Young Brand of the Future’.

· The Artemis Award will be presented to an inspirational woman whose business has traded between 18 months and up to three years

· The Demeter Award, sponsored by Worldpay, will be presented to an inspirational woman whose business has traded for between three and six years

· The Athena Award will be presented to an inspirational woman whose business has traded between seven and 11 years

· The Hera Award will be presented to an inspirational woman whose business has traded for 12 years or more

·The Iris Award, sponsored by IBM, will be presented to an inspirational woman whose business growth and success has been greatly improved through successful implementation and use of technology

New awards introduced for 2015:

· The Aphrodite Award, sponsored by the Daily Mail, will be presented to an inspirational Mumpreneur, who founded her business whilst raising a child or children aged 12 or younger.

· The Brand of the Future Award, sponsored by The White Company, will be presented by founder Chrissie Rucker MBE to the finalist from those shortlisted who is seen to demonstrate huge potential for growth.

The NatWest everywoman Awards have long enjoyed the support of the business world’s biggest names. Previous winners include Jo Malone MBE, Hilary Devey CBE, Kelly Hoppen MBE and Dame Karren Brady. Yet the Awards are more than another accolade for household names. Their prime purpose is to identify and celebrate the achievements of the many women who are running successful businesses, contributing to UK Plc, providing vital employment opportunities. The Awards have attracted thousands of entries and all finalists and winners have seen the benefits of entering everywoman’s flagship programme, transforming them into role models for future business owners.

Last year’s NatWest everywoman Award winner, Karen Betts, comments, “Winning the NatWest everywoman Award has been an amazing experience, opening doors to new opportunities. There is no doubt Nouveau Beauty Group has benefited from the awareness generated and it is fantastic to be recognised personally for the hard work that has enabled the business to flourish.”

Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman adds, “These Awards demonstrate the different challenges faced by business owners at every stage of their business growth from the start ups seeking access to finance through to global organisations expanding into new overseas markets. 2015 is set to be a breakout year for women in business with the proportion of female business owners at 20% (up from 14% in 2008)*.By shining the spotlight on the UK’s most inspirational women business owners, our Awards ensure this trend will continue.”

Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest says, "We are delighted to support the NatWest everywoman awards for the 13th consecutive year. These awards have recognised and celebrated many fantastic role models over the years, and offer great encouragement to female entrepreneurs at all stages of their business journey. At NatWest, we have seen a tangible increase in the number of women starting up in business, and we continue to be committed to encouraging more women to do so. Our network of over 260 externally accredited Women in Business Specialists across the UK share and understand our customers' ambitions, and provide tailored support, networking and mentoring opportunities to help them build successful businesses and fulfil their potential.

Judged by some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, the Awards lend further credibility thanks to the involvement of Chrissie Rucker MBE (The White Company), Amanda Wakeley OBE, Cath Kidston MBE, Kanya King MBE (MOBO) and Rosaleen Blair (Alexander Mann Solutions) - just a few of the names that independently appraise the nominations and select the winners.

The NatWest everywoman Awards are free to enter and individuals can be nominated or can enter themselves at www.everywoman.com/ewawards The deadline is 6 July.