The Launchpad: turning business ideas into investment-ready social enterprises

17 June 2014

Got a great business solution to a social or environmental issue? Get on board with the Launchpad, the Ākina Foundation’s programme to turn 10 inspired social enterprise ideas into thriving, self-sustaining businesses.

The Ākina Foundation has designed a new programme called the Launchpad, to take business ideas and turn them into tested, investment-ready social enterprises that will have a big impact on a social or environmental problem.

The programme, co-financed by Contact Energy and the Department of Internal Affairs, will run from October 2014 to March 2015. It will provide participants with six months of high-quality business mentoring, support and coaching; theory, tools, access to networks, markets and investment; and a window into the reality of what makes a successful social entrepreneur.

“The selection process will be highly competitive but we intend to take as many applicants through the first stage as possible – this includes a series of regional ‘warm-up days’ where the teams will get hands-on support to design their business model, one-to-one feedback and mentoring sessions, and coaching to pitch their idea,” says Alex Hannant, Chief Executive of the Ākina Foundation. 

The team at Ākina are keen to generate as much interest as possible, from around New Zealand.

“We think that a broad range of applications will help us test demand and see what New Zealanders are looking to do in the social enterprise space, and critically, the issues they want to tackle. This is also a great way for us to improve our approach and practice,” says Alex.

Ākina is also seeking mentors, supporters and investors to work closely with the programme, so if you’re interested in changing the future of New Zealand, one social enterprise at a time, get in touch via

Applications for the programme close on Sunday 29 June.

To find out more about the Launchpad, click here.