EcoPro Cleaning Co Community Innovation Award
Winner: Akina Foundation
It’s a big job, doing good. You don’t want to do it badly. That’s where the Akina Foundation can help. The foundation exists to help other social enterprises. It has wrapped a lot of its experience into Launchpad, a six-month accelerator programme (for which Element was the media partner) that gives people the skills to turn their ideas into viable social enterprises. That won it this year’s Community Innovation Award. Marketing manager Nicola Young says social enterprises are purpose-driven organisations that trade to deliver social and environmental change.
“In some ways they have been around for years, in others it is a growing sector and there is a real capability gap,” she says.
“Launchpad focuses on high potential organisations and puts them through an intense accelerated programme of testing their ideas and increasing the skills of team members to increase their chance of success.”
It’s a partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs and Contact Energy, who both provided funding, team members and mentors.
Young says social enterprise, like any start-up, has a high chance of not being successful unless it is approached with a lot of rigour, thought and planning.
“A social enterprise has the head of a business, the heart of a charity and the hands of a community.”
“Depending on where a social enterprise comes from they might have one of those three more strongly than the others. Launchpad focuses very much on the business part of it.