TAMARA Reeves could not believe the overwhelming sense of acceptance and support she felt the first time she attended a Women With Altitude event 12 months ago.
Ms Reeves, the owner of Compass Training, had worked in the corporate world where networking was something that had to be done, not enjoyed.
"Then I attended my first Women With Altitude event and it was really different," she said.
"Everyone was friendly and wanted to help. It's not about competition."
As a result she was delighted to be able to sponsor the Climb Every Mountain Award which is open to women who have been operating their own business for at least four years.
"Because that's exactly how I felt when I was starting out," Ms Reeves said. "Setting up my business, dealing with bureaucracy, battling every step of the way: it's just like climbing a mountain."
Ms Reeves said she also wanted to encourage others to join Women With Altitude.
"Even if you're unsure, just go to a meeting," she said.
"You won't regret it."