Rural businesswomen the focus of conference | PHOTOS

Regional women in business were celebrated when they came together for a day-long masterclass at  Faversham House, York at the end of October.

A hundred entrepreneurial and business women gathered for the Wheatbelt’s premier business event ‘WE Shine’ held for the second time running.

WE Shine provided an opportunity for Wheatbelt business women to hear from successful women entrepreneurs whilst providing valuable skills and networking opportunities to support women as they take the next step within their business.

Wheatbelt Business Network executive officer Caroline Robinson said two-thirds of all Wheatbelt businesses have a female director, partner or senior decision maker; with an increasing number of women starting a new business whilst maintaining involvement in their primary enterprise

“The economic impact of Women Entrepreneurs in the Wheatbelt continues to rise each year” said Ms Robinson.

 “WE Shine is about coming together as a community of business women to create connections and foster relationships that will ensure that wheatbelt businesses can thrive.”

Innovation Strategist, Entrepreneur and Women in Technology WA Chair Pia Turcinov provided a burst of entrepreneurial passion and enthusiasm as MC for the day.

“Women with strong professional networks are more likely to succeed,” Ms Turcinov said.

Keynote speakers included academic and founder of BOSSMAMA an award-winning national advisory service that helps businesses put gender equity policies into practice Dr Melissa Langdon.

Dr Langdon spoke about the entrepreneurial mindset amongst rural women leaders.

‘The challenges faced by business women in remote, regional and rural areas are quite unique,” she said.

Networking specialist Ron Gibson spoke about the power of building business networks; particularly within rural communities.

An interactive business ‘Q and A’ session facilitated by Curtin University Entrepreneurship Director Danelle Cross featured local entrepreneurs Topp Dogg Moora owner Julie Walsh, Subway and Café 56 Merredin owner Tracey McFarlane and Groan and Tone owner Louise O’Neill.

After a gourmet lunch from Mukinbudin based Wild Strawberry Catering there was the opportunity to take part in a series of masterclasses delivered by some of WA’s leading business women.

The networking continued at a sunset drinks reception with WA wine tasting and music by local entertainer Georgie Sadler.