Wilding & Co is one of 11 teams selected to participate in the Akina Foundation Launchpad programme. The Launchpad is a social enterprise incubator primarily supported by Contact Energy, Department of Internal Affairs and the Akina Foundation. The intensive 6-month programme is designed to get social enterprise ideas off the ground and ready to create meaningful change for New Zealand communities.
The 11 teams selected for the programme are based across the country, stretching from Kaikohe to Queenstown—and hail from a variety of backgrounds and professions. They are a mixture of students, recent graduates, professionals, and people like the Wilding & Co team who are developing start-ups in their spare time while also working.
The Wilding & Co team are totally thrilled to be invited to participate in the programme. Dave Turnbull, founding director, says “it’s great to be in the company of other people involved in, and interested in developing social enterprise—it’s a tough slog, so being inspired and supported by other people who recognise the value of giving back to the community while also creating a sustainable business is great”.
The Launchpad will provide Wilding & Co with the business mentoring and support required to get the business into an investor ready format—and with national and international interest in the business growing—the opportunity has come at just the right time. The programme concludes in March 2015 with an event that will provide the Wilding & Co team access to pitch to funders and impact investors—a la Dragon’s Den.
The Akina Foundation was “blown away by the variety of ideas and the passion and commitment from the 134 teams who applied—we were also really excited about the number of applications—it demonstrates how many people in New Zealand want to create positive change through innovation and entrepreneurship but need the right support to reach their potential.”
Some interesting facts supplied by the Akina Foundation:
- Nearly half (46%) of the Launchpad teams are building social enterprises that focus on health and social care challenges within our communities.
- 46% of the teams are exploring solutions to environmental and recycling challenges within their business ideas.
- 46% of the teams are working on enterprises that incorporate digital, media or technology solutions.
- Over a third of the teams (36%) are developing enterprises that encompass a training and employment component.
- 27% of the teams have a youth and education angle within their enterprise.
- Two teams out of eleven have strong community development and regeneration angles to their enterprise.
- There are also teams exploring enterprises that tackle issues within the housing sector, the leisure, sports, arts and culture sector, and the food and agriculture sector.