25 May 2022

Virtually no problems for smart rural women who want to work from home

| Sally Hopman
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Seed Virtual Assistants founder Amy Dawe on phone

Amy Dawe created Seed Virtual Assistants to help rural women find their place in the business world – and stay connected. Photo: Supplied.

When you’re bringing up your first child it’s mostly by trial, error and unsolicited advice. But for Amy Dawe, there was one thing she knew for sure – she didn’t want to send her six-month-old son to daycare.

The former assistant bank manager whose family hails from Binalong had moved to Young with her husband Mick.

She knew that she didn’t want to return to her high-pressure job in finance, but she did want to work to help support her family.

“I wanted to contribute to the household income while still being able to spend time with my children,” she said.

“My job as a banker didn’t allow flexibility.

“When you start a family your needs change and I didn’t want to work in a world of corporate pressure.”

Born from that real-life experience was her business Seed Virtual Assistants, which she launched in 2018.

“My mission is to help rural women grow successful, sustainable and enjoyable Virtual Assistant (VA) careers and businesses,” the now mother-of-three said.

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Her business works by mentoring skilled women from rural and regional Australia to provide their expertise to businesses from their homes.

The only limit they face is their internet capacity. VAs can work in just about any area, from customer service to marketing, business administration to systems and procedures and any other fields in which businesses may need help – and they can do it from anywhere.

But for many of the women working with Amy, home is where the heart is – and that’s where they’d prefer to be based.

“Now what I do is help women in rural and regional areas not only be VAs but start their own businesses. It’s a means to transfer their skills to people and places where it is needed, virtually,” she said.

“It’s interesting to see that a lot of people don’t realise what a VA can do until they’re actually working with one.

“Since COVID, more people are running their businesses online so VAs are more in demand.”

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About 98 per cent of Amy’s clients are women, most looking for ways to stay at home with the family but earn a living at the same time.

But more important than just providing employment via the virtual world, Seed is about creating community for women in rural and regional Australia who sometimes do it tough.

“Working alone from home can be very isolating,” she said.

“That’s why this idea of community is so vital in what we do.

“The VAs support each other, teach other to become more flexible with what they do, just allowing women to work on their own terms.”

Although Amy started as a VA, she now shares her knowledge with other women. She hosts online courses and one-on-one coaching and offers memberships, including regular training workshops, coaching and community support.

“I am incredibly passionate about helping women build successful, sustainable and enjoyable virtual assistant businesses,” Amy says.

“I love seeing women who become part of the Seed family achieve their dreams and create their ideal lifestyle.”

For more information, visit the Seed Virtual Assistants website.

Amy has just been nominated for two major business awards: The Australian Rural Business Award and the Australian Mumpreneur Award for 2022.

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