Dynamic women forge new careers

The Southland Times Farming News
Wed, 25 Apr 2012

The finalists for the New Zealand enterprising rural women awards have been chosen. Shawn McAvinue talks to three southern finalists taking care of business.

JENNIFER SCOTT: Livestock Office owner Jennifer Scott is an industry leader in a man's world but employs only women.

She and Lisa Wardill write livestock brokering software to sell to stock agents and shearers in New Zealand and are ready to enter international markets.

Her daughter, Jacqui Rule, manages the office and administers the Office Bureau.

The women worked well as a unit, she said.

"We are women in a man's world."

The company was looking at entering Chile, Australia, and the United States in the next two years, she said.

Mrs Scott started writing the first New Zealand-made livestock brokering software for stock agents in 1989 after a new tax was introduced.

"GST came in, I bought a computer and it all went from there."

After many late night computer sessions, she taught herself how to write software.

She opened Jenny Scott Computers in Gore in 1990 but sold the company five years later to move to Cromwell.

She and her husband, Bill, were farming sheep and beef on 485ha at Otikerama, near Pukerau, but downsized to 10ha with apricot trees.

In 1999 she created Livestock Office to provide the agricultural sector with an innovative, reliable and affordable software package.

Livestock Office could be tailored to suit any livestock business from a one- man band to corporate level, Mrs Scott said.

She recently sold software to CRT when they decided to move to livestock.

"It's the only livestock program produced in New Zealand, for New Zealand conditions."

She entered the competition because her daughter pushed her into it, Mrs Scott said.

The Rural Woman New Zealand national president Liz Evans said the 16 New Zealand finalists were strengthening their rural regions.

"Celebrating their success and raising awareness on women's entrepreneurship is an important way in which we can help grow dynamic communities."

All entrants submitted a detailed business description and a copy of their accounts.

Entrants must own half the business, have fewer than 10 staff, be based in a rural area, and had to have run the business for at least two years.

Finalists are being interviewed by judges in Wellington this month and next.

The winner will be announced in Taranaki on May 21.


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