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Enter the Highland Business Women Awards and make your business shine

By Rachel Smart

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All the prize-winners at last year's Highland Business Women awards. Picture: James Mackenzie
All the prize-winners at last year's Highland Business Women awards. Picture: James Mackenzie

It’s almost that time of year again as the Highland Business Women Awards is making a return.

Sponsored by Safekab, the annual ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate females who are excelling in their sectors and making a difference in their community and local economy.

With nine awards up for grabs, there is certainly something for everyone who wants to take part. The prestigious ceremony will take place on Thursday, August 22 at the Drumossie Hotel.

A returning category at this year’s ceremony is the Business Woman of the Year award which is being sponsored by Specsavers. This award is open to members only who are business owners or self-employed.

Applications should show drive, determination and entrepreneurship alongside effective working relationships and team work.

This award was won by Karen Kennedy director of Kennedy Accountancy last year.

She said: “I was so honoured to win Business Woman of the Year from the amazing pool of businesswomen in the Highlands.

“It’s great to get recognition of all the hard work. Winning an award is great for business and also in terms of your personal brand – so if you are thinking of applying then do it!”

Andrea Farrelly, store manager at Inverness Specsavers, added: “Specsavers Inverness are honoured to be sponsoring the Business Woman of the Year Award.

“It’s great to see some wonderful women being recognised for the fantastic work they do. This award is also important to us as we have a significant number of women that work with us also.

“We look forward to celebrating them and their achievements on the night.”

Another returning category at this year’s awards is team of the year, which is open to members only. Entries should show a successful delivery of a project or initiative alongside effective organisation and planning.

The Country Spa was crowned team of the year in 2023 which provided a boost to the business.

Katrina Sutherland, owner of The Country Spa, said: “Winning two awards at last year’s Highland Business Women’s Awards provided recognition that elevated the profile of The Country Spa.

“Press and social media coverage was amazing and categorised us alongside other well-recognised and respected businesses. It was all very exciting and great for business! Recruitment is much easier now and other businesses have approached us wishing to collaborate and I’ve been asked to write business articles for Professional Beauty magazine.

“Winning team of the year resulted in more credibility for the staff, which boosted their confidence incredibly.

“Last year, I had no intention of entering the awards, but was encouraged to do so by friends. I’m so glad I did!

“The time spent writing my application was incredibly worthwhile as it helps you to analyse your business, highlighting what you are doing really well and recognising where your weak spots are.

“Even being shortlisted as a finalist in your category gives you so much exposure and projects your business into the limelight.

“For anyone not sure – just do it! Take a few hours to think about why you’re in business and what makes it special. Select the categories that suit you best and just enter.”

Applications for this year’s awards will close at midnight on Sunday, June 30. Forms can be found at www.hbw.scot/awards

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