Twenty exciting and innovative businesses are in the line up for the Rural Women New Zealand Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2013.
The judges now face the challenging task of choosing finalists in the four entry categories: Love of the Land (sponsored by Agrisea Limited), Help I Need Somebody (sponsored by Telecom) Making it in Rural (sponsored by Fly Buys), and Stay, Play, Rural (sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd).
These four category winners will go on to compete for the title of Supreme winner, Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013.
"This is the fifth year we've run the Enterprising Rural Women Awards," says RWNZ National President, Liz Evans. "Each year it's rewarding to see the diversity of businesses successfully run by women in rural areas and the significant inputs they make into the wider economy.
"Through these awards Rural Women NZ aims to celebrate their success and raise awareness of women's entrepreneurship, which helps to grow dynamic rural communities."
Entries in this year's Love of the Land category include a fresh produce and gourmet food business, a combined sheep and beef, orchard and farm forestry operation, a native tree nursery, a blueberry grower and product retailer, and a honey business.
In the Help I Need Somebody section there is a butchery and deli, a hair and beauty salon, a skin and sun protection product company, a workplace health and safety service, and an online Kiwiana gift store.
Competing in the Making it in Rural is a merino fashion designer and retailer, a children's book author and illustrator, an exporter of animal products for the medical, pharmaceutical and dietary supplements market, a glass artist, a business that makes soaps and massage oils, and a natural pet care products manufacturer.
Stay, Play, Rural entrants have plenty to offer with farmstay and homestay businesses in the running, as well as an astronomy tourism venture and a luxury lake cruise enterprise.
The Enterprising Rural Women Award winners will be announced at a special ceremony to be held on the opening night of the Rural Women NZ national conference in Christchurch on 23 May.
Check back here over the next month to meet the entrants. Also, visit our Facebook page.