Two mums from North Hertfordshire are celebrating after reaching the final of a national competition for female entrepreneurs.

Kerrie Goude, from Hitchin, and Maddy Griffiths, from Knebworth, are the founders of TOTFest - an all-inclusive festival for under fives - and have been named as finalists in the best creative business category at the Best Business Women Awards 2023.

The judging panel praised the creativity, tenacity and business acumen of the selected finalists.

After receiving the news that they had made the final, Kerrie said: “We are delighted to have been selected as a finalist in this category, as individuality and creativity is something we are really passionate about”

“Our specialist demographic caters for children ranging from six months to five years.

"This age group are often underrepresented at festivals, and so it really means a lot to us to have been recognised for creating an event for such a well deserving age group”.

The Comet: Kerrie (left) and Maddy created TOTFest while on maternity leave together.Kerrie (left) and Maddy created TOTFest while on maternity leave together. (Image: TOTFest)

She added: “As a small business, we don’t often get opportunities to celebrate our successes, so we are really looking forward to attending the awards ceremony and hopefully come back with a win.”

Kerrie and Maddy created TOTFest whilst on maternity leave together, with a joint desire to create immersive and imaginative events that would bring together families from all backgrounds and allow them to switch off and spend time together.

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They have already won numerous awards since their festival in 2018, and TOTFest has now become the largest under five's festival in UK - with 19,000 visitors each summer at their four different venues.

Debbie Gilbert, organiser of The Best Business Women Awards, said: “This is the ninth year of these prestigious awards and despite extremely difficult trading conditions businesses have faced over the past few years, these businesswomen have powered forward.

The Comet: TOTFest now welcomes 19,000 visitors each year.TOTFest now welcomes 19,000 visitors each year. (Image: TOTFest)

“Our judging panel, all business experts, were impressed by the quality of the entrants.

“All our finalists are all shining examples of being successful entrepreneurs who have proved their success to our judges.”

The Best Business Women Awards are designed to recognise the achievement of female entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries, all of which are excelling in their chosen field.

The Gala Final will be held at the Hilton Wembley on September 22.