In this episode, I interview Elisha Watson, the Founder, and CEO of New Zealand underwear label and social enterprise Nisa. They employ women from refugee backgrounds with awesome sewing skills and make organic cotton underwear. Nisa aims to help refugee women start their new lives through interesting jobs and opportunities.
Elisha Watson was a full-time lawyer and a refugee settlement volunteer in the Red Cross. During her time volunteering, she met awesome women who are skilled in sewing. So, she quit her job as a lawyer and founded Nisa in 2017. They had launched a crowdfunding campaign and dramatically reached their goal in just 2 days. Launched enterprise with 3 FTE and now has 12 FTE.
They have been running the business for 4 years already and it was all possible because of the people involved in it. Elisha Watson humbly says “no matter how quick you’re at learning things, it is almost impossible to replicate the level of experience and commitment of those who worked years in the industry.” She’s appreciative to those who have decades of experience in the industry who helped her work the business.
This Cast Covers:
- How learning a skill leads to a successful business.
- Keeping a small business going in trying times is all about resilience.
- How close relationships with team members meant success.
- How success is about building a skill within the team.
- How the struggles of others moved her to provide opportunities.
- Providing meaningful and interesting work to employees from refugee backgrounds.
- The passion of welcoming new people and helping them start a new life.
- A business with a social and environmental mission.
- Building Social Business By Muhammad Yunus
- Beginner’s Pluck By Liz Forkin Bohannon
“No matter how quick you’re at learning things, it is almost impossible to replicate the level of experience and commitment of those who worked years in the industry.”- Elisha Watson
“What success looks for me is building up skills within a team rather than of my own.” – Elisha Watson
“Skill is something that must be acquired to be able to see whether the business was successful or not.” – Elisha Watson
“Growing a small business is also growing the team and treating them like a family.” – Elisha Watson
“When things go really wrong, have a good resilience to save your business.” – Elisha Watson