Hikurangi Foundation partners with Contact Energy and the Government to boost social enterprise in New Zealand

17 February 2014

The Hikurangi Foundation is going places, expanding its incubation and development services for high potential social enterprise across New Zealand, thanks to a major funding boost from the Government and its new corporate partner, Contact Energy.

The Government has announced funding of $1.27 million over two years, to enable the Hikurangi Foundation to build up its services and develop a social enterprise accelerator pilot, which will be co-funded by Contact Energy, its new lead energy partner.

The Hikurangi Foundation works nationwide to turn ventures and ideas into social enterprises with investment-ready business models, incubating early-stage social enterprises and developing scalable solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges.

“We’re really excited about what we will be able to offer in the social enterprise space in 2014 and in the coming years,” says Alex Hannant, Executive Director of the Hikurangi Foundation.

“To start with, we will broaden our focus to include areas of critical social impact, as well as the environmental areas we already work in,” he says.

The Hikurangi Foundation offers direct management support, strategic funding and professional services to fledgling social enterprises throughout New Zealand.

“These new partnerships are a significant boost to Hikurangi’s work to provide the skills, resources, and support that social entrepreneurs need to fulfil their potential and bring about positive change in our country and communities,” he says.

The Hikurangi Foundation will offer support through four programmes. Each programme is designed to serve the different development needs of social enterprises as they design, validate and grow their ventures.

In the autumn of 2014, The Hikurangi Foundation will launch a social enterprise accelerator pilot, for transformational early stage ideas. This programme will be delivered in partnership with Contact Energy, and will provide the opportunity for teams across New Zealand to win a place on an intensive six-month development journey, navigating business design, market validation, development planning, and engagement with appropriate funders and investors.

“Contact is 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.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the social enterprise accelerator pilot, you can register your interest here.