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Manawatū whānau set to thrive with social enterprise

Manawatū whānau set to thrive with social enterprise programme: “Kia Puāwai te Pitomata – Growing Potential to Fruition”

A new social enterprise development programme designed to help people with ideas to benefit Manawatū whānau, hapū and iwi has opened for applications today.

Te Tihi o Ruahine, a Whānau Ora Alliance of eight iwi, hapū and Māori organisations, has joined forces with Ākina Foundation to offer the four-month Thrive Manawatū programme “Kia Puāwai te Pitomata – Growing Potential to Fruition”, supported by New Zealand Post and Kiwibank.

Ākina CEO Alex Hannant said the partnership was about developing the capability of future social entrepreneurs.

“Social enterprise is business for good – it’s business with a social purpose at its heart. Partnering with a Whānau Ora Alliance makes sense because we can use the power of business to bring about sustainable social change,” he said.

Central PHO Director of Māori Health and Te Tihi Implementation Manager Materoa Mar said the Te Tihi o Ruahine team was excited about offering this journey to whānau to benefit Māori in the wider community.

“There are talented and passionate people in the Manawatū, Tararua and Horowhenua areas and, with the right support, they can make a positive difference in our communities. We are looking for supporters including business mentors to help these local leaders take their ideas forward, as well as the applicants themselves,” said Mrs Mar.

Ākina had been in Palmerston North in October offering introductory workshops and had been impressed with the level of interest and quality of questions asked.

“The feedback from our introductory workshops has been extremely positive so we’re excited about what’s to come over a more intensive four-month programme,” said Mrs Mar.

Mr Hannant said the Thrive programme had recently been run in the Far North in partnership with the Far North District Council. He said New Zealand Post Group’s support meant Ākina could expand their regional efforts and would be developing social enterprise hubs, alongside local partners, to deliver capability building, innovation process and development support.

He said Thrive Manawatū “Kia Puāwai te Pitomata – Growing Potential to Fruition” participants might include whānau, hapū and iwi members, local business leaders who wished to leverage skills and experience for social purpose businesses, community leaders that want to harness business to achieve positive outcomes for their community and individuals that care about the region and want to gain skills to lead the creation of a community social enterprise.

Mrs Mar said theme of this programme was about helping whānau thrive, which was reflected in the programme title “Kia Puāwai te Pitomata – Growing Potential to Fruition”. It was expected to benefit both successful applicants and the wider community.

“Thrive helps people develop their personal and business skills as well as test their ideas using social business models,” said Mr Hannant.

“The beauty of Thrive is it delivers not just solutions but builds capability and confidence in communities, with the ripples felt widely regardless of when specific social enterprises result,” he said.

If you wish to assist with the programme as a mentor, business expert or social enterprise storyteller please contact Te Tihi via Tracey.Simpson-Smith@centralpho.org.nz.

To find out more or to apply for Thrive Manawatū “Kia Puāwai te Pitomata – Growing Potential to Fruition”, go to the Ākina website or Te Tihi website (www.tetihi.org.nz), phone Ākina on 04 384 9676 or contact Te Tihi via Tracey.Simpson-Smith@centralpho.org.nz or via the “Te Tihi” website or Facebook page. Applications close 22 November 2015.


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