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Last opportunity to be a winner at the Highland Business Women Awards


By Calum MacLeod

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Highland Business Women dinner and awards 2018.
Highland Business Women dinner and awards 2018.

Businesswomen of the Highlands are being urged not to be shy of sharing their achievements.

With the clock rapidly ticking down towards the deadline for entries to the 2021 Highland Business Women Awards – anyone interested has only until 5pm on Friday, August 6, to put their name forward – HBW vice-president Donna Smith made a final appeal for entrants to share their good news stories.

She said: “We know the last 12 months have been difficult for lots of businesses, but we also know there are plenty of businesses who have been doing fantastic work over that period and we really hope that they can put themselves forward to be recognised for that brilliant work. This is a fantastic opportunity to put yourself in the spotlight.”

Donna added that although the board did not want the 2021 award to be dominated by Covid, the unique challenges of the last year-and-a-half would also be recognised with the introduction of two new awards – the business resilience award and digital innovation award – looking at the way businesses had adapted.

“We are really looking forward to the evening and we are hoping we can get some people together in small groups,” Donna added.

“That was something that we couldn’t really do last year, but if people aren’t able to do that or aren’t comfortable with the idea, they can still enjoy the full experience online. We will have some online socialising before and after the awards ceremony and if it is anything like last year, even though we can’t be in a room together, we will still have a really good time and celebrate the success of some fantastic businesses out there.”

Donna has another reason to look forward to the awards event on Thursday, August 26.

She is chairwoman of Inverness mental health charity Mikeysline, which was selected by HBW members as this year’s chosen charity.

Donna Smith,chairman outside the Mikeysline Hive, Academy Street, Inverness.
Donna Smith,chairman outside the Mikeysline Hive, Academy Street, Inverness.

Although Donna was not involved in the selection, she is delighted that the work of Mikeysline will be showcased and all virtual attendees will be invited to donate towards its work.

“We have been working with the members to really understand how mental health issues affect women and we want to get a conversation going to see how we can help and perhaps tailor our services to see how we can support women in particular,” she said.

“One of our main aims is to raise awareness and break down stigma and make conversations around mental health easier to have so to have an organisation like HBW on board and helping with that mission is really important and gives us another platform to reach people who might not have heard of our work.”

As a charity which receives no central funding, any support HBW members can give is vital, especially at a time when Mikeysline is about to expand its services beyond Inverness.

“Being able to supply that face-to-face support in other areas is really important, we feel,” Donna added.

“We are going to start in Easter Ross and hopefully in the longer term we will be able to continue that and look at other locations we might go to in the future.”

The deadline for entries to this year’s HBW Awards is 5pm on Friday, August 6.

n For details of the categories and how to enter, go to www.hbw.scot/awards


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