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Social Entrepreneurs to Benefit From Experienced Ally

Social Entrepreneurs to Benefit From Experienced Ally

The Rotary Club of Wellington and the Ākina Foundation have joined forces to kick-start Wellington region-based social enterprises by providing $10,000 in cash to promising start-ups.

Ākina Foundation Chief Executive Alex Hannant welcomed the new partnership.

“The Rotary Club of Wellington is the oldest Rotary Club in New Zealand – they have been a supporter of some of New Zealand’s most valued social causes – it’s fantastic to see them embracing the modern version, social entrepreneurs”, said Mr Hannant.

Rotary is providing up to $8,000 for the top venture with a likely $2,000 for the first runner-up.

Rotary’s incoming Vocational Committee Chair Andrew Miller said their members would also be available to support the successful ventures.

“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 and technical support plus we may offer mentoring”, said Mr Miller.

The Rotary Club of Wellington had been an innovator in the 1920s, instrumental in establishing the Wellington Karitane Hospital, the Crippled Children's Society (now Disability Action), Meals on Wheels, Cancer Society of NZ amongst others", said Mr Miller. “More recently we have been involved in the establishment of the Child Health Research Foundation, the Wellington Botanic Gardens Education Centre, Wellington Wheels Expo, Skylight Trust, Friends of Refugees as Survivors and the EUREKA! Trust.”

Mr Hannant said the Ākina team was excited about this new opportunity to support social entrepreneurs thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of the Rotary Club of Wellington.

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

“We want to act as inspiration for other Rotary clubs around the country,” added Mr Miller.

To qualify, would-be social entrepreneurs must be resident in the Wellington region although their 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 Wellington Social Enterprise Kick-starts open today (2nd June) at the Ākina website, www.akina.org.nz/rotary. The winner will be announced at a Rotary event on 31st August, after a presentation of the shortlisted videos and a vote by Rotary members.

ENDS

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