St Albans entrepreneur wins national award

Ruby Raut. founder of WUKA. Picture: WUKA

Ruby Raut. founder of WUKA. Picture: WUKA - Credit: Archant

A St Albans entrepreneur has won an award in a prestigious national competition.

WUKA founder Ruby Raut (far left) with her family in Nepal.

WUKA founder Ruby Raut (far left) with her family in Nepal. - Credit: Archant

Businesswoman Ruby Raut has received Best New Business in the Best Business Women Awards gala 2018, held at Tewin Bury Farm in Welwyn.

She set up WUKA (Wake Up Kick Ass), a company which creates eco-friendly period wear.

The reusable menstruation pants absorb blood throughout a women’s cycle, replacing 100 single-use plastic tampons in six months.

She said: “I am delighted to have the business recognised with this award.

“We are so grateful to all our customers and supporters over this first year of operating. Our WUKA period underwear is making a real impact in the market for sustainable menstrual products. Our first aim was to stop one million tampons and pads going to landfill and thanks to our enthusiastic customers we have just reached that goal.”

Ruby, a Nepalese woman who now lives in St Albans, was inspired to set up WUKA and empower young women after experiencing Chaupadi as a teenager.

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This is a now-outlawed tradition in Nepal which sees menstruating women banished from the family home.

The judges described WUKA as a business “passionately built and driven through personal experience and desire to help others” and Ruby as innovative and driven.

Adding: “Her entry shows a business which is already thriving and will no doubt move onwards and upwards.”

The Best Business Women Awards are designed to recognise the achievements of women across a range of categories and is open to any female business owner UK wide.

Organiser Debbie Gilbert said: “We were delighted with the number of entries this year, which came in from all over the UK.

“This is a tough competition judged by business experts. To win is a major achievement.

“Winners were selected for their business acumen, determination, creativity and tenacity. Our winners are shining examples of being amazing entrepreneurs who have proved their success to our judges and have showed they have the ingredients worthy of being recognised and rewarded.”

The awards are moving to central London for 2019 and will reopen for entry in March next year.