Calling enterprising rural women

November 30, 2010

Rural Women NZ has opened entries for its third annual Enterprising Rural Women award.

“The Award celebrates women who take on the extra challenge of running a business in a rural area and it’s a great opportunity to boost your business profile,” says RWNZ National President Liz Evans.

Past entrants have received extensive media coverage and seen the positive effects on their businesses.

Last year’s Supreme winner, Tineke Verkade, of Homeopathic Farm Support Limited, says winning the 2010 RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award has led to three appearances on television, as well as radio shows and numerous newspaper articles throughout the country.

“Winning the Award was really a boost for the staff and for me.” 

She says it has made her more enthusiastic and given her the confidence to come up with strategies to cope with the recession, including new products that are currently being tested by Massey, and writing a book on homeopathy for horses.

Last year’s South Island winner, Tracey Robinson, who runs children’s merino sock company Cosy Toes Ltd from the tiny town of Rotherham in North Canterbury, says her win has had a very positive spin off. 

“I’m definitely busier because of it.”

The RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2011 is being sponsored by Telecom and Access Homehealth Ltd, who will both be involved in the judging.

Entries close Friday 18 March 2011 and the award ceremony will take place in Auckland in May.,

Further information and entry forms can be found here or by calling (04) 473 5524.


Homeopathic Farm Support wins Enterprising Rural Women Award

May 26, 2010

Tineke Verkade of Homeopathic Farm Support  won Rural Women NZ’s Enterprising Rural Women Award.

Tineke was the North Island winner. She is pictured (middle) with Judy Bailey who presented the award and Rural Women national president Margaret Chapman.

Flooded roads prevented the South Island winner, Tracey Robinson of Cosy Toes from attending  last night’s award announcement at the Oamaru Opera House..

When the two finalists were announced, there was some controversy over the North Island award going to a homeopathic company. But judges were not looking so much at what a business did as how, and how well, it was run.

Listening to Tineke speaking last night, no-one could doubt her passion and commitment.


Enterprising Rural Women Awards announced

April 23, 2010

The South Island Rural Women’s Enterprising Rural Women Award  winner is  Tracey Robinson of Cosy Toes Limited and the North Island award went to Tineke Verkade of Homeopathic Farm Support Limited.

 Cosey Toes, based in Rotherham, North Canterbury, is an online and mail order retail business, specialising in 100 % New Zealand made merino wool socks, merino clothing and other New Zealand wool products for babies and children.

Homeopathic Farm Support, in Waikato,  supplies high quality homeopathic products and information support to farmers and rural livestock holders throughout New Zealand and overseas.

Both are contenders for the supreme award which will be announced at Rural Women’s national conference in Oamaru in May. 

The Awards were judged by Margaret Chapman, Rural Women New Zealand’s national president, Theresa Gattung of Wool Partners International and Doug Langford, past chairman of Access Limited.

The judges were impressed by the innovation and adaptability of all the entrants in this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Award, many of whom have had to overcome extra obstacles to run a business from a rural location.

Tineke Verkade started her business following a career in nursing, a background in science and an interest in complimentary medicine.  She studied naturopathy and medical herbalism as well as homeopathy and has been in private practice since 1991.  Her aim is to provide easily available, affordable and effective complimentary animal health remedies.

Margaret Chapman says “Tineke Verkade has built up an impressive business from early days of skepticism and little belief in alternative methods of healing from the farming community.”

Nowadays more than a quarter of Fonterra dairy farmers and many sheep and beef producers use homeopathy.

South Island winner Tracey Robinson set up her Cosy Toes business after experiencing frustration that wool socks were not available for her two pre-schoolers.  Researching the market, she discovered that inexpensive imports of synthetic socks had led to New Zealand businesses closing down and selling their machines. 

She decided to reverse that trend, setting up a business in a rural township with a population of just 300, using the internet to supply a niche, high quality product using innovative marketing, including social networking sites.

Judge Doug Langford says Tracey Robinson is resourceful, passionate and determined to succeed in the face of obstacles.  Theresa Gattung adds “Cosy Toes is courageous in its inception and spot on in its execution.  Cosy Toes is a great example of new ways to reinvent the existing.”

 Cosy Toes products are now posted all over the world, and Tracey has gone on to support those less fortunate, including organising the Cosy Toes Sock Drive for orphans in Uganda.

You can read more about Cosy Toes  here and Homeopathic Farm Support here.

The awards are a wonderful initiative by Rural Women to celebrate rural women in business and their achievements. 

The South Island Award is sponsored by Ballance Agri-Nutrients and the North Island prize by Access.


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