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Contact Energy announces support for Kiwi enterprises

Contact Energy announces support for Kiwi enterprises tackling social and environmental challenges

Today Contact Energy announced a partnership with Hikurangi Foundation, a leading social enterprise foundation, and their newly introduced social enterprise accelerator pilot. The one-year pilot builds on Hikurangi’s experience of supporting social enterprises to date, and will involve a series of business design workshops for early-stage social enterprises across New Zealand, before taking the ten most promising ventures through an intensive six month development programme.

As Hikurangi’s lead energy partner, Contact employees from across the country will provide invaluable support to the social enterprises, through business mentoring and skills-based volunteering, providing Contact’s employees with the opportunity to share their unique technical skills and expertise and learn about the challenges New Zealand communities face in caring for the environment and their people. The concept of public-private investment partnerships in the social enterprises space is one that’s new in New Zealand, but an established trend internationally.

“Contact’s rapt to be investing in Hikurangi and the accelerator pilot and to have the opportunity to learn from and share our team’s expertise with budding kiwi social enterprises to help nurture their innovative ideas into viable and sustainable businesses,” says Nicholas Robinson, Contact’s GM Customer Insight, Marketing and Communications. “For Contact it’s about investing in capability building and the success of social enterprises that have a key role in not only the Kiwi communities we operate in, but also more broadly in NZ Inc. Through our relationship with Hikurangi, we’ll provide practical support for enterprises investigating energy innovations like security of energy supply, access to energy, as well as opportunities to change and enhance the way energy is used in Kiwi homes and businesses.”

Alex Hannant, Executive Director of Hikurangi said “This partnership is a significant boost to Hikurangi’s work providing the skills, resources, and support that social entrepreneurs need to fulfil their potential and bring about positive change in our country and communities. With Contact Energy, we will demonstrate new ways of bringing the best of the private, public and community sectors together, and open up the opportunity for a new breed of innovative social enterprises to get up and running.”

Further details about how organisations can register their interest in taking part in the regional workshops will be announced by Hikurangi in the coming months.


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