Newmarket Rotary Kick-Start Winners Training Immigrants

Published: Fri 15 Sep 2017 09:59 AM
Newmarket Rotary Kick-Start Winners Training Immigrants And Creating Jobs
Cottonseed, a New Zealand based clothing label that supports immigrant women to resettle and integrate into their new society, is the winner of this year’s Rotary Newmarket $10,000 Kick-Start Award, run in conjunction with the Ākina Foundation.
The social enterprise was created by non-profit, New Zealand Ethnic Women Inc, as a way to build on skills that migrants have brought with them to New Zealand.
After ten years of successfully training immigrants through their “Sewing School”, now Cottonseed provides graduates an opportunity for sustainable employment.
Founder, Fadumo Ahmad, says immigrants and refugees who work with Cottonseed get a taste of leadership that they’ve never been able to experience in their own culture. They learn how to speak English in a working environment, and also have access to financial literacy and budgeting classes.
“Ladies who were on the benefit, now have part-time or full-time employment. They’re able to become role models within their communities but also roles models for their children,” says Fadumo.
Ākina Foundation Chief Executive, Alex Hannant, said the group’s work training and employing immigrant and refugee women was impressive.
“Their already making a real impact in their community, providing employment to Fadumo immigrants and refugees from countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, Thailand, Pakistan, India and more,” said Mr Hannant.
Cottonseed has had significant interest from Sewing School graduates, but due to resource constraints, are currently unable to take on additional employees.
The $10,000 Newmarket Rotary Kick-Start Award prize will be used to purchase additional sewing equipment, along with marketing, paying their staff and buying materials.
Other finalists for the Award included Duffle & Co, Eat My Lunch, Foster Our Future, Kitchen Science, Make Give Live, and Organic Edible Garden.
President of Rotary Club of Newmarket, Michelle Smith, was thrilled with the quality of entrants this year.
“After a successful inaugural award in 2016, our members had a wonderful night connecting with the finalists around their impressive social enterprises. We’re convinced that this is a smart way to invest in our communities and see tangible social, environmental and economic impact,” says Mrs Smith.
For more information about any of these social enterprises, and to show your support, visit
Akina Foundation
Aotearoa New Zealand's Leading Impact Developers
At Ākina we're working to build an economy that measures and values the powerful potential of enterprises and businesses to deliver positive change for our people and our environment.
This change is called impact. The positive impact of enterprises, businesses and government can help address challenges like poverty, inequality, waste management, biodiversity loss and climate change.
We offer a wide range of tailored impact consulting, social procurement and impact investment advisory, and capability building services. We're also working with the Government to create the conditions for a thriving social enterprise sector, into the future.
Be bold. Ākina mai. Ākina atu. (Challenge yourself. Challenge others)
Contact Akina
04 384 9676

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