Annah Stretton is perhaps best known as one of New Zealand’s most enduring fashion designers and business entrepreneurs with 26 years of designing, manufacturing and retailing under her belt. Lesser known, however, is her achievements as a philanthropist, social entrepreneur, business mentor, publisher, speaker, author and advocate for the advancement of women.
Annah is a woman of action, rather than intentions, and her vast reservoir of energy, ideas, enthusiasm and acumen has been a magnet and inspiration to many.
Having spent her career competing in an industry severely disrupted by a global market place and the rapid growth of technology and digital platforms, Annah’s clothing enterprise continues to be successful where many others have failed. Her formula for success has been simple but not easy; never stop learning, experimenting or giving back.
In more recent times Annah’s ever-present philanthropic contribution has shifted gears, moving from donor to social entrepreneur with the establishment of the Stretton Foundation in 2014. Seizing the opportunity to apply some fresh thinking to New Zealand’s unrelenting cycle of poverty, abuse, crime and intergenerational disadvantage, Annah first charitable endeavour was to set up RAW (www.raw.org.nz). RAW is now in its fifth year of successfully rehabilitating and reintegrating a group of female recidivist offenders through a combination of accommodation, education, employment and intensive mentoring support.
The positive impact that Annah’s entrepreneurial approach has garnered in the social change arena has propelled her on to launch two further charitable endeavours; Kia Puawai (2016) - a charity redefining the road to better health and wellbeing for everyday New Zealanders by making it simple, seamless and stress-free - and The Good Collective (2018) - a meta-charity providing Waikato charities and not-for-profits with access to a one-stop-collaboration hub to help increase their effectiveness, community impact and long-term sustainability.
Annah has been a semi-finalist twice for Kiwibank’s New Zealander of the Year awards (2019, 2018), awarded the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015, the recipient of the coveted Verve Clicquot Businesswoman of the year award (2009) and has an Order of Merit for services to fashion, business and philanthropy.
Annah has been awarded an Honorary Master of Arts by Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) for her contributions to Fashion and is a qualified chartered accountant.
Annah’s keynote addresses are open and honest, motivating and inspirational. Her insights and experiences in the business and social impact space have wide-ranging appeal regardless of scale or sector.
- Entrepreneurship & Entrepreneurs
- Purpose & Vision
We had the absolute pleasure of Annah Stretton addressing the Newmarket Rotary Club earlier this year to educate our members about the RAW programme. She a confident and passionate speaker a ... keep readingnd what she and her team are achieving with vulnerable and abused women is nothing short of outstanding. A great nationwide support initiative is something that really resonates with Rotary President, Newmarket RotaryView more