Small Business Battler


Hailing small business’s biggest battlers

3 November 2009

NZ Business Magazine

The David Awards honour the often gutsy and tenacious nature of the tens of thousands of Kiwi small business owners. NZBusiness congratulates the category winners and supreme winner for 2009.

The David Awards recognise the unsung heroes in home and small businesses throughout New Zealand, whose tenacity, courage and ingenuity place them firmly at the forefront of entrepreneurship in this country. Just as David, an ordinary, unassuming young man, used shrewdness and a simple slingshot to conquer the giant Goliath, so these entrepreneurial Davids often punch well above their weight.

“The judges felt there was a strong and varied field of entrants this year,” says the organizer of the Awards, Heather Douglas of HomeBizBuzz. “These finalists are inspiring, courageous business people with a passion for what they do and the determination to make it work. Some have overcome considerable adversity in order to reach the success they now enjoy.”

The Category winners and the Supreme Award were announced during a live webcast on The David Awards website ( on the 7th of October and a podcast of the event is available from the site as a download.

This year’s Supreme Award winner Breastmates is an excellent example of a ‘Zero to Hero’ business. Owner Frances McInnes has grown the online business from scratch into a company with a significant turnover, a recognisable brand, and one that makes great utilisation of technology and social networking sites. The business also won the award for The Most Inspired Use of Marketing for its social media and traditional marketing strategy.

NZBusiness editor, and one of the five judges of the David Awards, Glenn Baker, views Frances as a great example of Kiwi DIY attitude. “Being a one-man band she has pretty much had to take on every role within the business, which is a big ask for anyone. Fortunately she is extremely competent at all of the disciplines. As a result she has built herself a very successful business.”

Fellow judge Pam Martin agrees that Breastmates exemplifies what the David Awards are all about – tenacity, courage and ingenuity. “She started as so many before her, with a passion to do something differently. Her passion was to provide better options for mums who’re coping with the challenges of breast feeding their babies. Breastmates is now recognised as a vital resource for mothers, providing both products and sound, practical advice. Her videos on YouTube have a keen following – learning to use social media effectively to drive traffic to her website has created a solid, sustainable business.”

Judge Glenn Smith was impressed by Breastmates’ involvement in the ‘Bras for Africa’ drive.

“It was inspirational and a perfect fit for the business and its marketplace – by which I mean that it clearly was a charitable endeavour, but it was connected to the very narrow demographic she is chasing as a business.”

This year’s Supreme winner takes away a whole new office valued at $1600, courtesy of Warehouse Stationery: a desk, chair, mobile drawer, credenza, filing cabinet and bookshelf, as well as $200 of stationery vouchers; a 16-week ‘virtual’ 80-20 Multi-Million Business Boot Camp worth about $4500 from iconic business strategist Tom Poland; and a year’s subscription to ‘the world’s simplest cashbook’, iCashbook, worth $300.

Details of all the finalists can be found at