Launchpad Work: Creating Employment Opportunities for New Zealanders who need them most

Launchpad Work is New Zealand’s first business accelerator focused on supporting social enterprises that provide employment for those that face the greatest barriers to finding work. It’s going to be a six month intensive program that will be based in the Auckland area and running from May to October of 2017. The Ākina Foundation is looking forward to using our unique skills and experiences to support the ventures that come through. Our experience includes in the last year, supporting more than 750 ventures.

During that period, these ventures raised about $1.5 million dollars in investment. So who are you? You’re a business whose purpose is providing employment to those who have trouble finding and keeping a job.

That could be young people, people who are former refugees or have disabilities. You might call yourself a start-up, a charity, or social enterprise. In any case you take the majority of your profits and you reinvest it back into the business. A 2014 mathematica report found that for every dollar that’s spent by social enterprises in providing employment there is a net benefit of two dollars and thirty-two cents on society.

What’s an example of a social enterprise that we’re looking for? Pomegranate Kitchen provides wonderful, delicious catering and delivered foods around Wellington. The refugees who work there involved with everything from management decisions, to creating menus and along the way they’re learning skills such as improving their English, Health and Safety, kitchen skills and getting on the job catering experience.

So what will you get by participating in this accelerator? 1st: Growth support. You’ll have a dedicated coach who meets with you one-on-one and meets you where you’re at. In addition, we have a network of professionals who can provide pro bono support on an as-needed basis. 2: Connection. When you join this community, you’ll become part of a group of high-performance social enterprise leaders that share your passion, ambition and desire to make an impact.

3: Access. As part of this program, through the group sessions and also the pitch opportunities, you’ll get access to a variety of people who can support the development of your business. That includes corporate partners, it includes potential customers and potential funders and investors. In addition, you’ll have access to the entire Ākina team and our network of corporate partners. 4: Funding.

Participants in this program will have the opportunity to opt-in and receive $10,000 of funding provided with philanthropic support from the Sky City Auckland Community Trust. This is to enable the enterprises and their founders to fully participate in the accelerator program. If you’re interested go now to our website and submit an expression of interest.

We’ll use that to keep you informed along the way. We look forward to reading your application. Thanks!