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Win Seed Capital for Social Enterprise in Greater Auckland

25 February 2016

Win Seed Capital for Social Enterprise in Greater Auckland

The Rotary Club of Newmarket and the Ākina Foundation have joined forces 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 new 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 embracing the modern version, social entrepreneurs,” said Mr Hannant.

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

Rotary Newmarket’s President Patrick Learmonth 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 with our members’ wide skill-base and experience, we can assist with hands on mentoring,” said Mr Learmonth.

Mr Learmonth said the Rotary Club of Newmarket, which had just celebrated its 70thyear, 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 but the social enterprise sector affords 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 this 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 Learmonth 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 Learmonth 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,” Mr Learmonth 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, public walkovers of both the original Newmarket Motorway flyover and the new extension in 2010, an Oncology Award for Cancer Research in partnership with the University of Auckland, and the annual Circus Quirkus for underprivileged children.

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 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.

Mr Learmonth added: “We were exploring this concept at the same time our Rotary Club of Wellington colleagues launched a similar initiative with Ākina in the Wellington region last year. So we’re keen to spread the message that this approach worked in Wellington and will work here too.”

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 March 2016. Express your interest via email (rotary.kickstart@akina.org.nz) or apply via www.akina.org.nz/rotary.

ENDS

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