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Entrepreneur’s top award

OUTDOOR PURSUITS: Alexandra Schwind is sharing her passion for the countryside through her website.

OUTDOOR PURSUITS: Alexandra Schwind is sharing her passion for the countryside through her website.

Working in the countryside often means rising early, long hours and hard graft.

It is little wonder then that inspiring people to get involved in rural industries can be difficult.

But a 25-year-old entrepreneur has made it her mission to do just that and has been rewarded for her endeavours with an award known as a “rural Oscar”.

Alexandra Schwind set up Young and Country, which is based at Causton Hall, Little Cornard, in December 2012.

Her aim was to create a website which would appeal to a younger generation of farmers, horse riders and country enthusiasts.

It is billed as a one-stop site where people can go to find out about everything associated with the countryside.

“After I finished university, I did not really know what I wanted to do, like a lot of people,” said Alexandra, who grew up on a farm in Bures.

“Farming is quite hard to get into and I wanted a place where people could learn about what they wanted to do, find job opportunities and which promoted the countryside.”

One of her main ambitions was to break down the outdated image of those who work in the outdoors and help other businesses get off the ground.

“We have had a brilliant response and get such a high density of hits on the website each day it is unbelievable,” said Alexandra.

“I have a few friends who have also started their own company and we are all quite individual. If someone is thinking of doing it, I would say go for it.”

The success of the website has seen Young and Country named as the “start-up category champion” in the East of England Countryside Alliance Awards.

“I never expected it as the other businesses which were in contention were really strong,” said Alexandra.

The business will now go forward to the grand final at the House of Lords at the end of April, with a chance to win the national title.

 

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