Cool Kiwis: five small businesses to watch - Stuff

Article published in Stuff

Small businesses dominate New Zealand's business landscape and are the lifeblood of the economy.

Data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment shows that small businesses make up 97 per cent companies of all Kiwi businesses and employ 29 per cent of workers. Most small businesses in the country employ less than 20 people, and rely heavily on the skill and labour of their owners.

Stuff named I am Eva (now AWWA) as one of five of NZ's coolest start-ups to keep eye on.

Auckland startup AWWA was founded by Kylie Matthews and Michele Wilson in 2018.

The company sells period underwear - a next generation menstrual product. The specially engineered underwear does the job of sanitary pads and tampons, directly absorbing menstrual blood, while simultaneously reducing waste, the founders say.

The women spent a year doing research and development, Wilson said, and found that fabric technology had come a long way, and it was possible to create underwear that was able to absorb a significant amount of fluid and still look and feel like normal underwear.

Wilson and Matthews said they have plans to launch two new styles later this year.

The Pair are now focused on taking AWWA global. They've sold 15,000 units of underwear in New Zealand, around $500,000 in sales, and have their sights set on the Australian and European markets. 

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