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Social enterprise start-ups ready themselves for big pitch

This year could mark a turning point for the social enterprise sector in New Zealand after the Akina Foundation’s launch of the Launchpad last year – a six month social enterprise accelerator programme.

The teams participating in Launchpad needed to have a business idea that had the potential to make a big social or environmental impact.

The Launchpad, co-financed by Contact Energy and the Department of Internal Affairs, has been designed to support people with big ideas who need business mentoring and support to get them off the ground.

During the six months of intensive coaching and support 11 inspiring social enterprise ideas are on their way to becoming thriving and self-sustaining ventures.

The teams had consultant mentoring from organisations such as KPMG, Vodafone, SAP and Deloitte, adding rigor to their impact-focused pursuits.

“When you meet these teams you can see that these are exceptional people with the passion and ability to make a real difference in their communities.

“We now look forward to connecting the teams with people, organisations and investors that can help bring those plans to life,” says David Clearwater, Launchpad Director at the Akina Foundation.

The pitch day event will bring together a network of over 200 potential investors, funders, customers and supporters from the private, public and philanthropic sectors to engage in opportunities around social enterprises.

The teams will present to an audience including government ministers, social change makers and CEO’s, presenting the change they intend to make in the world and their business plans. 

Teams will present the change they intend to make in the world, their business plans for delivering that change and pitch for support to take their social enterprise to the next level.

All 11 teams are offering something different, from education, health and social care, environment and recycling to digital media and technology solutions.

These teams have an opportunity to be a part of shaping the onwards journey of social enterprise to help New Zealand thrive.

“We’re seeing a groundswell of social entrepreneurship across the country and we’re excited to be part of a movement that is determined to solve wicked problems with the tools of business,” says Akina Foundation’s Chief Executive, Alex Hannant.

Nicholas Robinson, Contact Energy’s General Manger of Corporate Affairs is looking forward to hearing the teams pitch their ideas and to see them lead the way in launching social enterprise in New Zealand.  

“We believe social enterprise has the potential to transform our communities, to contribute to the wellbeing of our people and ultimately, to change the way we do business and deliver positive, lasting social outcomes in New Zealand,” says Robinson.

Click here to find out more. 

Recently graduated from AUT's journalism undergraduate programme, Catrin has a unhealthy love of dogs, sun, beaches, and coffee. She's also Welsh and proud to let you know it.

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