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Win Seed Capital for Social Enterprise in Greater Auckland

20 June 2017

Media Release

Win Seed Capital for Social Enterprise in Greater Auckland

The Rotary Club of Newmarket and the Ākina Foundation have joined forces for a second year to kick-start social enterprises in the greater Auckland region with a chance to win $10,000 in cash.

Ākina Foundation Chief Executive, Alex Hannant, welcomed the continued partnership.

“The Rotary Club of Newmarket is a pioneer in philanthropy in New Zealand – they have been a supporter of some of New Zealand’s most valued social causes and it’s fantastic to see them, for the second year running, launch their Social Enterprise Kick-start Award.”

Rotary Newmarket is providing $10,000 for the top venture.

Rotary Newmarket’s, President, Simon Dalton said, “following our very successful first Social Enterprise Challenge won by Resource Rescue we are delighted to partner with Ākina again to offer Social Enterprises seed capital or a kick-start to build their enterprises.”

“As well as providing a cash injection at a time when it makes a real difference, Rotary members offer ongoing support. We can open doors to our networks, provide advice on accessing markets, plus with our members’ wide skill-base and experience, we can assist with hands on mentoring. This was demonstrated last year with our inaugural challenge when a number of the enterprises, as well as the winner, benefitted from our members connections and knowledge” said Mr. Dalton.

Mr. Dalton said that the Rotary Club of Newmarket was one of NZ’s most innovative Rotary clubs. The partnership with Ākina was seen as an opportunity to forge greater links with the wider community and connect with new organisations that have a sustainable social enterprise model.

“Rotary has long been a donation giver, however social enterprise presents new opportunities for Rotary to connect with the community and younger people who want to give back to their communities. Social enterprise and Rotary are on the same track and the partnership with Ākina is a way to intersect with a new vibrant emerging sector that is committed to Rotary’s fundamentals of doing good in their communities,” Mr. Dalton said.

“Many of our members are involved in social enterprises and in recent times we have become aware of the burgeoning social enterprise sector from speakers to our club such as Guy Ryan, Young New Zealander of the Year and Inspiring Stories founder, Alex Hannant, CEO Ākina, and Janette Searle, Take My Hands Trust founder,” Mr. Dalton said.

“In another innovative initiative by our club we have just established associate membership. Janette is one of first associate members and is on the committee driving this seed capital kickstarter. Also a number of last year’s finalists have joined as associate members,” Mr. Dalton said.

The Rotary Club of Newmarket was established in 1945 and distributes more than $100,000 per annum to the community and charitable causes. Significant milestones for the club have been the Rotary Centennial Walkway on Motutapu Island, a 25 year involvement with the Motutapu Island Restoration Trust, an Oncology Award for Cancer Research in partnership with the University of Auckland, the annual Circus Quirkus for underprivileged children, and giving 3D printers to low decile schools. Just recently a partnership with the Howard League has been formed to give pictorial dictionaries to prisoners graduating from literacy programmes.

Mr. Hannant said that the Ākina team was excited about this continued opportunity to support social entrepreneurs, thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of the Rotary Club of Newmarket.

“We are hopeful this successful partnership will challenge other service groups to get in behind social enterprise as an innovative way to approach our complex social and environmental challenges,” said Mr. Hannant.

Applications are open to all social enterprises, whether early-stage, start-up or more established. To qualify, applicants must be resident in the greater Auckland region although their social enterprise organisation or project may have a local, national, or global impact. Applicants are required to submit a three-minute video along with a short online application form.

Applications for the Rotary Club of Newmarket Social Enterprise Kick-start open on 1 July 2017. Express your interest via email (rotary.kickstart@akina.org.nz) or apply via www.akina.org.nz/rotaryakl2017.

ENDS

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