Impact Investment
Readiness Grants

Get ready to unlock investment and grow your social enterprise
with a grant of up to $20k from a nationwide grant pool of $150k

The Impact Investment Readiness Grants are for social enterprises and impact-driven businesses on the verge of becoming even more impactful, but need a little extra support to get there. Apply for a grant of up to $20,000 to spend on professional services that will help your business get ready for investment.

Over the past two years investment readiness grant funding has helped New Zealand ventures unlock over $4 million of impact investment. Thanks to our funding partners Kiwibank, WEL Energy Trust and The Tindall Foundation there is $150,000 available nationwide.

Have a read of the information below about eligibility and how to apply. If you have any additional questions send an email to sarah.aitken@akina.org.nz.

Applications from the Waikato region open on August 22nd. Applications from the rest of New Zealand open on August the 26th.

Applications close on Friday September 20th, 2019.


Sorry, applications have now closed.
Grant recipients will be announced in October 2019.


Find out more


What do I need to apply?

In order to be eligible to apply for an Impact Investment Readiness Grant your organisation will need:

  • A social or environmental mission.

  • Established trading activities or a plan that has been tested with customers.

  • A strategy for growth and a need for capital to fund it.

If my application was successful, what would I receive?

  • A grant of up to $20,000 to purchase any professional services that will help you become investment ready.

  • Grant recipient organisations also receive a session with Ākina’s Impact Investing team to assess their needs and provide advice on what services they would find most valuable.

  • Examples of ways grants have been used in the past include paying for the costs of preparing an impact model for an Information Memorandum, producing financial projections and assistance with developing or refining business models.

What should I include in my application?

  • A clear and concise description of your mission and how you intend to achieve it.

  • A clear and concise description of how your organisation makes money.

  • Financial records of your trading activities for the last 12 months (if any).

  • A brief description of your plans for growth and how this grant would help you become investment ready.

Please note:
we are only able to spend a limited time on initial application screening, so please ensure your application is concise and directly answers the questions.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time frame? +

Applications close on Friday 20 September. Applications are assessed on a rolling basis. Grant recipients will be announced at the end of October.

What is the assessment criteria? +

All applications are assessed based on three broad criteria:

Impact: how well you can show that your organisation understands its social or environmental mission and your approach to achieving your impact/outcomes.

Business: how well you can show that your trading activities are likely to be sustainable. This might be through trading history or by demonstrating a clear understanding of your customers and the value you offer them.

Growth: how well you can demonstrate understanding about how this grant might help to grow your business and your impact, and get you ready for investment.

What can grant money be spent on? +

Grants are awarded for the purpose of preparing any content, connections or materials necessary for approaching and accepting money from investors. This could include:

Legal support: review and drafting of documents around your legal structure, developing investment agreements and other key contracts.

Financial support: review of and support creating financial models, assessing investment options, or building an investment strategy.

Advisory support: guidance on the investment process, governance requirements and other preparations for dealing with investors.

Marketing support: creating videos, documents, and other communications material to impress investors.

Other: feel free to put forward a case for any other support you believe will get you closer to your investment goals!

Does the money have to be paid back? +

No, there is no requirement to repay an Impact Investment Readiness Grant.

What is a social enterprise or an impact-driven organisation? +

Social enterprises are businesses that exist to deliver social, cultural or environmental outcomes (impact). Social enterprises applying for this programme need to trade, so that their impact is delivered sustainably through revenue generation. Applicants will need to have the potential to grow their impact along with the growth of the business.

Not every impactful organisation uses the term 'social enterprise', so this programme is also open to businesses that would describe themselves as led by impact. 'Impact-driven' again refers to social, cultural or environmental outcomes (also a purpose or mission) being the driving force behind the operation of the business.

Find out more about what it means to be a social enterprise or see some examples of social enterprises.

What is impact investment? +

Impact investment refers to investing with the intention of generating a measurable and beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return. Though the impact investing market is still emerging some studies estimate that investors have over $500bn available globally to initiatives that exist to generate a measurable positive impact.

Find out more about Impact Investment.

What is the time commitment for recipients? +

Grant recipients will undergo a one-hour session with the Ākina impact investing team. In this session, we give an overview of the organisation and advise them on what types of support might be most useful. We also offer recommendations around service providers that could help you with your plan to get investment ready.

Why is Ākina running this programme? +

Ākina exists to transform New Zealand's economy through the power of impact! One way we're doing this is by building a stronger and more streamlined impact investing market in New Zealand; one where more funding is available for social and environmental initiatives. We want this programme to encourage more investment in impactful businesses, to increase the overall impact of social enterprises and purpose-led businesses in New Zealand.

Find out more about what we're doing to transform New Zealand's economy through the power of impact.

Where does the funding for the programme come from? +

The funding pool for the Impact Investment Readiness Grants comes from the generous contributions of our programme partners. Our nationwide grants partners Kiwibank and the Tindall Foundation, have contributed a total of $100,000.

WEL Energy Trust has contributed a total of $50,000 for enterprises in the Waikato Region. This means that the total Impact Investment Readiness Grants funding available is $150,000.

The Government-funded Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme is supporting the administration of the Impact Investment Readiness Grants programme. Find out more about the Social Enterprise Sector Development programme on The Impact Initiative.

Grant partners


Waikato delivery partners

Programme support

Waikato Tainui | Te Waka | Soda Inc
Enterprise Angels | The Good Collective
Impact Hub | Hamilton City Council
Momentum | Community Waikato