Here are some answers to specific questions about Ākina. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for here, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have. If you’re looking to find out more about terms like social enterprise, social procurement and impact, you can find out more on the terminology page.

What services does Ākina offer? +

Ākina offers a wide range of advisory and consulting services, including bespoke support for businesses developing their impact. Our services include:

  • Capability building for enterprises and corporates
  • Strategic advisory services on impact
  • Impact consulting services
  • Certification of social enterprises for fwd:, our social procurement marketplace
  • Advisory work for Social Procurement
  • Advisory work for Impact Investment

Read more about what we do.

Ākina’s legal structure comprises a charitable trust (the Ākina Foundation) which is a registered charity in New Zealand, and a wholly-owned subsidiary company, Ākina Consulting Limited. Ākina operates as a social enterprise by pursuing the generation of positive impact for New Zealand through all of our activities, including our consultancy services. As a charity, Ākina cannot operate for private gain – any profit from contracted services is reinvested in furthering our impact.

Where does Ākina’s revenue come from? +

Ākina’s revenue comes from a range of different sources. Much of our revenue is generated from the delivery of our services.

We also receive external grant funding from partners to deliver specific projects or services, often in defined areas up and down the country. Sometimes, that work involves providing direct support or coaching for social enterprises. Other times, it involves working with business development organisations, who then go on to provide support to enterprises in their area.

Usually, funding from a particular region needs to be spent on enterprises in that region. That means that the pro bono or subsidised support we can offer is different up and down the country. For example, funding that comes from Foundation North needs to be spent on services in Northland. In areas where we have limited or no local funding, our ability to deliver subsidised services is, unfortunately, greatly reduced. We’re always working to find new funding opportunities to be able to deliver more consistent support, nationwide.

We also earn revenue from our impact and social procurement consultancy work, which consists of bespoke consulting services delivered directly to businesses. We’re always on the hunt for impactful new projects with social enterprises looking to level-up, or bigger businesses wanting to do things differently to make our world a better place!

Additionally, there’s our work with Government through the Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme. This is an important partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs, on behalf of the New Zealand Government, and supported by the Community Enterprise Network Trust. This is a $5.5m programme being delivered across three years. The programme is delivering significant outcomes and developing the conditions for a thriving social enterprise sector. To find out more about the programme visit The Impact Initiative.

What does Ākina do with the funding it receives? +

Only a small percentage of our work receives grant funding. Much of our revenue comes from offering consultancy services that are paid for on a case-by-case basis.

We do sometimes receive grant funding from regional organisations or trusts to deliver specific work. That funding is often to deliver a very specific piece of research or deliverable for that funder. The activity or service we’re funded to deliver can depend on where our funding comes from, and what is required by our funders. For example, in Northland we are working to deliver direct venture support and in-depth coaching thanks to funding from the SkyCity Community Trust. We are delivering this work in partnership with our regional Hubs partner, the Community Business and Environment Centre (CBEC).

Funding from the Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme is being used to create the conditions for all social enterprises to thrive, whilst working with the government to develop a clear articulation of ongoing government support for the social enterprise sector beyond the programme. This is a $5.5m programme being run over three years in partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs, with support from the Community Enterprise Network Trust (CENT).

Does Ākina focus only on social enterprises? +

No, Ākina also works with organisations that don’t identify as social enterprises but are still interested in understanding and growing their impact. We work with change-makers from Māori enterprises, community enterprises and social enterprises. We also work with larger corporates, not-for-profits and with government.

We consider social enterprise models to be one of the best ways for business to deliver positive social or environmental impact, but we believe that all businesses in New Zealand should be mindful of their impact. All businesses can take steps to measure and grow their positive impact.

In addition, organisations that aren’t social enterprises still play a crucial role in the development of social enterprises or other businesses that trade for impact. This includes central and local government, charities, and larger corporates who buy from social enterprises.

How does Ākina support enterprises that aren’t able to pay for coaching or consultancy services? +

We know that the enterprises that need the sort of support we provide often aren’t in a position to pay market rates for consulting services. That’s why we’re always on the look-out for opportunities to offset these costs in other ways, in order to offer more accessible support.

Increasingly, we’re working with regional partners who will deliver support locally to emerging social enterprises and other ventures. This is a ‘train the trainer’ approach that has the power to spread the impact of our services more widely than working with enterprises one-on-one.

Like lots of organisations, we offer an annual amount of pro bono support every year, which is offered on a case-by-case basis. Additionally we can sometimes offer subsidised support in areas where community or business funding is available. If you have a specific request you’d like us to consider, please get in touch.

In what locations does Ākina have funding to deliver support services? +

The work we’re funded to do differs up and down the country. This is because funding differs from region to region. In some cases we work directly with ventures, in others we work with partners who go on to provide services to ventures in their region. Where there are gaps in available support, we’re working to find ways to plug these.

To find out what support is available in your area, please get in touch.

What is the sector development programme funding? +

The Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme (SESDP) is funding Ākina to work with government and the social enterprise sector to create the conditions for social enterprise to flourish. The programme will also demonstrate how social enterprise contributes to the government's economic, social and environmental goals. Funding as part of the SESDP is a total of $5.5m allocated over three years, and is funding Ākina to undertake a wide range of activities:

  • Conduct sector engagement and consultation
  • Enable social procurement opportunities
  • Address the barriers social enterprise face when accessing finance
  • Establish national networks of social enterprises focussed on capability building
  • Explore the creation or adoption of new business support tools and programmes
  • Working with government to articulate ongoing support for the sector, beyond the programme

Find out more by visiting The Impact Initiative.

Can I access financial support through the Social Enterprises Sector Development Programme for my social enterprise? +

The Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme is focussed on creating the overall conditions for all social enterprises to thrive. This means that the programme is not allocating financial support to individual enterprises.

There are opportunities to engage with the programme in other ways, particularly through the creation and support of regional ‘hubs’ which will be supported to grow social enterprise ecosystems in the local communities and identify sustainable income streams. The best way to keep up with the latest on the Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme is via The Impact Initiative.


Still got questions? Use the enquiry form on our contact page to get in touch…