Epping’s Christine Stow dreams of being an inspiration to women who are trying to kick-start their own businesses.

The Empowered Women director, carer, author and former Whittlesea councillor has spent the past 12 months helping women to access grants and funding to get their businesses off the ground.

Her passion for helping other women earned her a nomination at this year’s Stevie Awards for Women in Business in the category of Women of the Year – Business Services.

Ms Stow is one of seven finalists in the category and will find out if she wins at an awards dinner in New York on November 16.

Other finalists in her category will be travelling to the awards from Mexico, Townsville, Dubai and other parts of the US.

Ms Stow said her business allowed her to work alongside other women who had “a dream and a purpose”.

“I like to say I help people to find money. Usually they want to help other carers or people with disabilities,” she said.

“I want to be an inspiration for other women to stand up and know that anything is possible.”

Ms Stow said the idea for Empowered Women came from her experience as a carer for her daughter Imyjen.

“When I looked back, I realised I had been 100 per cent successful in receiving grants I applied for. The Whittlesea specialist school, Chancez Cafe at Mill Park … they were all on the back of proposals I had initiated,” she said.

“My vision was to find something that worked around [Imyjen’s] care and showed other women what was possible.”