It’s becoming a sweet day for the team at Hikurangi, not because of the chocolate and red roses, but an injection of $1.27 million led by the government which will be used to build up the incubator’s services to social enterprises.
“Social enterprises are organizations with social or environmental goals which use commercial models to generate income,” said Jo Goodhew, Community and Voluntary Sector Minister, regarding today’s announcement. “This government recognizes that by combining social goals and business methods, social enterprise has the potential to play a significant role in New Zealand’s social innovation and economic development.”
Hikurangi, named after Mount Hikurangi in New Zealand’s northern coast, is a registered charity founded in 2008 with a purpose of creating positive action on climate change but has since evolved to become an incubator of social enterprises.
Over the next two years, the government will provide $1.12 million to the charity to fund four main programs: countrywide workshops and clinics, advisory services, incubation, and a social enterprise accelerator pilot. These four programs are intended to deliver the necessary hands-on support, seed funding, professional expertise, and networks required by social enterprises in effort to create a generation of transformative ventures.
The remaining $146,000 will be provided by Contact Energy, a supplier of electricity and gas, specifically for the accelerator pilot. Ten social enterprises across New Zealand will have a chance to win spot in a six-month accelerator program. Hikurangi hopes to permanently run this program every year.
“I welcome Contact Energy’s support. It is great to see private enterprises sharing their resources and expertise to support innovative initiatives,” said Goodhew.
“Today I have also launched the Government’s position statement on social enterprise which signals a willingness to work collaboratively to create an enabling, supportive environment where enterprises can grow and attract investment,” she added.
“This is a new era within New Zealand’s community and voluntary sector and I look forward to discussions continuing between government agencies and social enterprise networks to identify ways this promising sector can grow.”
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