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Business ideas that will make life better sought

We’re looking for 10 business ideas that will make life better for all 4.5 million of us

The Launchpad, Akina’s new programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground, is now open for registrations. The Launchpad has been designed to take inspired business ideas and turn them into tested, investment-ready social enterprises that will have a big impact on a social or environmental problem.

With six months of intensive support and coaching, the Launchpad plans to turn 10 inspired social enterprise ideas into thriving, self-sustaining businesses.

“The Launchpad will support people with big ideas who need business mentoring and support to get them off the ground,” says Alex Hannant, Chief Executive of the Akina Foundation.

“The programme, co-sponsored by Contact Energy and the Department of Internal Affairs, aims to deliver a cohort of promising social enterprises, ready to create something meaningful for our communities and country.”

“Earlier this year, Government agreed a position statement on social enterprise, which encourages collaboration to support social enterprises to grow and attract investment,” says Internal Affairs Deputy Chief Executive, Paul James.

“We are pleased to be supporting the Launchpad, in conjunction with Contact Energy. This initiative is a valuable step in helping grow the social and economic potential of social enterprise.”

The six-month programme will run from October 2014 to March 2015. It will provide participants with high-quality business mentoring and coaching; theory, tools, access to networks, markets and investment; and a window into the reality of what makes a successful social entrepreneur.

Contact is proud to support the growth of social enterprise in New Zealand, says Craig Griffiths, Community Relations Manager.

“Kiwis face a number of social and environmental challenges that we reckon could be tackled with some fresh and innovative thinking. It’s also a brilliant opportunity for the Contact team to more deeply understand these challenges and use their practical skills and expertise to guide the efforts of Launchpad participants.”

To apply for the Launchpad, participant teams need a business idea that could make a big social or environmental impact, a lot of ambition, and a lot of drive. Ten teams will be selected via a competitive process involving an online submission, workshops and interviews. Interested teams can apply at Applications for the programme close on 29 June.


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