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Award entries now open for women in rural businesses

Saturday 14 January 2012, 11:55AM

By Rural Women New Zealand

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With Christmas over now’s a prime time to focus on goals for 2012. For women running small rural businesses, the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2012 is the perfect promotional opportunity to kick start the year.

“This is the fourth year we have run the Enterprising Rural Women Awards, which have been very successful in uncovering some exciting businesses run by women in rural areas,” says Liz Evans, Rural Women New Zealand’s national president.

The wide variety of businesses has seen past winners include an animal homeopathy business, a farm walk and homestay enterprise, a forestry trucking company, a children’s merino sock producer and a traditional-style cheesemaker.

This year there are three award categories – the Telecom North Island Award, the Access Homehealth South Island Award, and a new category, the Fly Buys Online Business Award, recognising the growth of internet-based businesses. Each category winner will receive $1,000 in prize money.

The supreme winner of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2012 will be chosen from the three category winners, and will receive a further $1,000 as well as a trophy.

Last year’s supreme winner, cheesemaker extraordinaire Lisa Harper of Sherrington Grange Limited, says her win has brought extensive media attention. As well as the welcome publicity boost, she says winning the supreme award affirmed her business decisions, whilst working in the relative isolation of the outer Marlborough Sounds.

“Winning the Enterprising Rural Women Award 2011 was a real confidence boost that I was on the right track, and that meant more to me than anything else,” says Harper.

The RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2012 are open to small businesses with 10 staff or less, that have been operating for at least two years. Women must be an active partner of fifty percent or more. Past entrants are welcome to re-enter.

Entry forms and further information can be found on the Rural Women New Zealand website www.ruralwomen.org.nz.