Rural Women New Zealand congratulates Lisa Harper on being awarded a prestigious Nuffield Farming Scholarship for 2013.
Lisa and her Marlborough Sounds cheesemaking and accommodation business won the Enterprising Rural Women Award 2011, a win that Lisa says changed her life and eventually led to her applying for the Nuffield.
Lisa says, “Not only did [the Enterprising Rural Women Award] provide me with a boost in confidence at the time, but it led on to things that I would once have never thought possible.”
Rural Women New Zealand national president, Liz Evans, says “When we set up the Enterprising Rural Women Awards four years ago, our goal was to identify and celebrate women running successful businesses in rural communities. So being part of Lisa’s journey towards becoming a Nuffield scholar is very rewarding for our organisation as well.”
As a first step on that journey, Lisa received an offer to do a Masters in Business Management through Massey University, which she completed in July – as well as working seven days a week in her business.
Her Masters thesis looked at rural entrepreneurship, the outcome of which, she says, blew conventional wisdom out of the water about barriers to innovation in rural communities. Instead she found her Marlborough study subjects incredibly innovative, globally networked and actively pioneering new industries.
Her Nuffield research will flow on from her Masters, focusing on encouraging innovation in rural businesses.
Lisa already has a PhD in plant pathology from Lincoln University and a science degree from Victoria University.
The Nuffield Scholarship will mean Lisa will travel for much of next year. She’ll take part in a Contemporary Scholars conference with 60 Nuffield Scholars from around the world and a six-week Global Focus Programme through several countries with other scholars.
Lisa says, “It will be a life-changing experience. None of this would have been possible without the ongoing support of Rural Women.”
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