Ākina is Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading impact development organisation. We are economic change-makers, advocates for innovation, champions of social enterprise, and big believers in the power of enterprise to make our world a better place.
We’re on a mission to make meaningful change by putting positive impact at the heart of our economy. Our vision is of a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive Aotearoa and world.
At Ākina we work with government, corporates, entrepreneurs and philanthropic partners to create a culture that measures and values the power of enterprises and businesses to deliver positive change for our people and the world we live in.
This change is called ‘impact’. When we talk about impact we’re talking about the social, environmental and cultural benefits that can flow from purpose-driven business. The positive impact of business can help address the threats posed by challenges like poverty, inequality, waste management, biodiversity loss and climate breakdown.
Ākina is transforming our economy through impact consulting services, social procurement and impact investment advisory services, and by building the capability of enterprises nationwide. We’re also working with the Government to create the conditions for a thriving social enterprise sector, into the future.
To teach or advise
but also to learn or study
Signifying respect and understanding for all people and cultures.
Ākina means to act boldly, urge on, challenge or encourage
Back in 2008, the Todd and Tindall Foundations established the Hikurangi Foundation to support practical action on climate change and the environment. We funded and supported a wide range of grassroots and community-led innovation across New Zealand.
Over time, we started to see that social enterprise could provide a powerful and proven vehicle for driving transformation and change. Hikurangi’s mission evolved to focus on five impact areas (transport; housing; consumption & waste; land and ecosystems; energy), and we built an incubation model that supported a range of social enterprises and social entrepreneurs throughout the country.
In early 2014, the Government announced funding to expand our incubation and development services for high potential social enterprise across New Zealand, and set out a position statement on social enterprise for the country. In May 2014, we broadened our mission and adopted a new name for our foundation, Ākina, to help us describe the next chapter in our story.
In 2018 Ākina was named as the strategic partner to Government in a three-year programme to develop New Zealand’s social enterprise sector. The Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme aims to enable a thriving social enterprise sector and map the way forward for future government support. Find out more about the programme by visiting The Impact Initiative.
Today, Ākina continues to find support for individual social enterprises but is also focussed on creating the bigger picture economic conditions for a more impactful economy – one that sees more enterprises operating at scale to deliver significant positive outcomes – alongside traditional businesses which measure, understand and value their impact.