SUFFOLK businesswoman Rachel Ducker has been named among the finalists in the NatWest Everywoman Awards, which honour the UK’s most successful and promising female entrepreneurs.

Rachel, founder of Apparition Marketing and Design, which operates from Halesworth and Bury St Edmunds, is one of three nominees for the Artemis Award, for the most inspiring businesswoman aged 25 or under.

Also nominated for the award are Samantha Coe of The Wharf music academy in Norwich and Carol-Ann Brown of F5Karting, based in Dumfries, Scotland.

Besides Apparition, which includes University College London and NFU Mutual among its clients, Rachel has also more recently launched a second business offering affordable mentoring services for young people and she is also committed to pro-bono work within the local community.

Karen Gill, co-founder of the Everywoman awards, said: “The women on this year’s shortlist have demonstrated passion, determination and dedication to get where they are, regardless of age, education or background.

“Given the plight of the economy it is more vital than ever that enterprise is encouraged and by recognising British success stories we will encourage more business start-ups.”

Carolyn Currie, head of Women in Business at NatWest, added: “With the current high rates of female unemployment, never has the need to celebrate, encourage and promote female entrepreneurship been of more importance.

“I’d very much like to congratulate the 2011 NatWest Everywoman Award nominees, who embody exactly

the type of entrepreneur that will be so key to aiding recovery in the UK. I hope their stories will encourage more women into enterprise and our nationwide team of Women in Business advisers stand ready to aid them on their path to success.”

The winners will be announced at a lunch ceremony at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Wednesday, December 7.