Having recognised the challenges rural businesswomen face on a daily basis, Samantha Meurant and Tori Kopke put their heads together and thought up an effective way to make a difference.
After collaborating on the Rural Compass podcast, which highlighted the need for additional skills and community for regional businesswomen, Samantha and Tori founded Big Ideas Rural.
Both living in isolated places, the duo bore the idea for wanting to bring education and empowerment to like-minded women in every corner of the country.
It has since exceeded expectations and gone on to include courses, a membership community as well as a virtual summit, due to take place in March.
“Our main aim is to educate and empower rural businesswomen, as location should [be] no barrier to creating an incredible business or access to inspiration and education,” the two women told My Business.
Asked how challenging it is being a woman small-business owner, particularly in a rural setting, Samantha and Tori admitted to facing many difficulties.
“We often lack the ability to connect with a like-minded community, we have limited childcare options and many women are juggling other roles within different businesses and their communities as well.”
In a bid to bring women together, Samantha’s and Tori’s latest project is a Big Ideas Rural Virtual Summit, which will be held over 9 and 10 March to coincide with International Women’s Day.
The two days include 17 speakers from a variety of backgrounds, with headline topics that are driving to the core of what it means to be a woman in 2020.
The women explained: “As a rural woman, it can cost thousands to attend a live event, once you factor in driving to a capital city, accommodation and the opportunity costs of being away for your business for an extended period of time.
“Plus considering the logistical nightmare of juggling childcare — t’s hard. We want every woman to feel included and access the incredible inspiration we have on offer. Plus with the structured networking and pop-up groups, it’s unlike any other virtual event around.”
The virtual summit will be live-streamed, with 48 hours access available to all those that register.
Speaking about their previous events, Samantha and Tori told My Business that they’ve received some incredible feedback.
“Women describe them as their time out, or when they are able to fill up their cup, and love the ability to connect with other women in similar situations to themselves. It’s more than business. It’s more than an event. It’s really a community and a movement.”
In closing out our chat, the Big Ideas Rural founders admitted that the best piece of advice they’ve received is to dream so big it scares you.
“We believe mindset is incredibly impactful, and we don’t want to limit our dreams and beliefs, and we impress this into everyone who walks through our virtual door.”
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business.
Maja has an extensive career as a journalist across finance, business and market intelligence. Prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja spent several years unravelling social, political and economic intricacies in Eastern Europe.