“This is the sixth year we’ve run the awards, and we’re already fielding inquiries from women keen to enter,” says Rural Women NZ national president, Wendy McGowan.
Last year’s supreme winner, Diane Coleman, of Treeline Native Nursery in Rotorua, says business is booming after the publicity that followed her win.
Though entering the awards may be outside some people’s comfort zone, Diane encourages rural businesswomen to pluck up the courage, as she did.
“Winning this award has been a once in a lifetime opportunity that was challenging, exciting, scary, fun, humbling and has really put my business on the map.”
There are four award categories in 2014:
• Love of the Land – sponsored by Agrisea – for all land-based business, from animals to agriculture.
• Help! I need somebody – sponsored by Access Homehealth – for businesses providing any type of service – from retailers to agricultural contractors.
• Making it in Rural – sponsored by Telecom – for businesses that involve manufacturing or creativity.
• Stay, Play Rural – sponsored by Xero – for businesses engaged in rural tourism or hospitality.
To enter the awards, women have to own and operate a small business with less than 10 full time equivalent staff, based in a rural area. The business must have been running for at least two years. If in partnership, women must be an active partner of 50 percent or more in the business.
Entries close Friday 5 September. Entry forms and further information are available on www.ruralwomen.org.nz/enterprisingruralwomen.The awards will be presented at the Rural Women NZ national conference in Rotorua on Saturday 15 November.
Each category winner will receive $1,000 in prize money and a trophy, with a further $1,000 going to the supreme winner.