22 November 2016
Ākina Foundation Announces New Business Accelerator Dedicated to Creating Jobs for Kiwis
Launchpad Work is the country’s first accelerator programme for ambitious social enterprises who are creating jobs for New Zealanders who need them the most.
Powered by the Ākina Foundation, New Zealand’s social enterprise support agency, Launchpad Work will run in Auckland in early 2017 and will take up to 10 early-stage and growing social enterprises for the 6-month business growth accelerator. Participants will get access to business support, funding, talent development, and access to a network of mentors, partners, customers and funders and investors.
The programme builds on the success of the Contact Energy Launchpad in 2014 and Ākina Foundation’s support for over 750 ventures in 2015.
Chief Executive of the Ākina Foundation, Alex Hannant, believes this is a great opportunity to solve an important issue for New Zealand.
“Evidence shows that employment in social enterprises delivers benefits to individuals, communities and society. People gain self-esteem, skills and greater life-stability. Society gains a productive and more inclusive workforce.
“We’re excited and privileged to offer this new programme as an ambitious next step in growing vibrant social enterprises that make a real difference to the lives of New Zealanders.”
The Ākina Foundation has formed new partnerships with the Ministry of Social Development and SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust, both of whom are supporting this project.
Sifa Taumoepeau, SKYCITY’s General Manager, Group Government & Community Relations says the SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust is proud to be supporting the Akina Foundation.
“The accelerator programme is a proven model that helps create meaningful jobs for Kiwis who might otherwise struggle to find employment. The objectives of the Akina Foundation meet those of the Trust, in that we are committed to supporting community groups and programmes that encourage financial capability, employment and economic prosperity for families. We believe the Akina Foundation’s Launchpad Work will do just that,” says Mr Taumoepeau.
The accelerator is open to social enterprises that have a primary purpose of providing employment for people that face barriers to employment, such as former refugees, sole parents, people with disabilities, individuals with experience of homelessness, the criminal justice system or mental health difficulties.
Applications will open soon and will close 7th February 2017. Interested enterprises, potential mentors and supporters should visit akina.org.nz/launchpadwork to register interest now.