A landlady has been shortlisted for a national award which celebrates female entrepreneurs.

Lucy Townsend, founder of The Greyhound on the Test in Stockbridge, Hampshire, has been shortlisted in the Athena category of the 2019 NatWest Everywoman Awards, which celebrates a woman running a business trading from 6 to 9 years.

Lucy is the powerhouse behind a multitude of hospitality businesses including The Greyhound, a former Michelin pub of the year; and most recently The Grosvenor, a Georgian listed hotel in Stockbridge.

She began her career in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White, before her potential was spotted by Robin Hudson, who gave her the reins of the original Hotel du Vin in Winchester. She began to grow her own business concept, initially running independent gastropubs before seeking investment to launch her own ventures.

Overall, only one in three UK entrepreneurs is female, a gender gap equivalent of 1.1 million missing businesses. This is despite the potential for £250 billion of new value to be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men.

Yvonne Greeves, director of women in Business at NatWest, said: "We are very proud to recognise these women, who are not just successful in their own businesses, but are also great role models.

"The importance of women in business cannot be underestimated, so we hope these role models will inspire other women to take their first steps in business.

"To help these entrepreneurs and would-be business owners, NatWest has a network of over 500 externally accredited Women in Business specialists who understand our customers' ambitions and provide business advice, mentoring and networking opportunities."