Rotary grants help kick North Island social enterprise into gear


For the fourth year running Ākina have teamed up with two Rotary clubs to offer seed-funding grants to the most promising emerging social enterprises.

The Rotary clubs at Newmarket and at Wellington have each provided $10,000 for the two kick-start grants, which are tagged for enterprises in the North Island. The team at Ākina assist with getting the word out about the opportunity and assessing the applications they receive. A change this year is to open the applications up for the entire North Island with Rotary Newmarket covering the top half and Rotary Wellington covering the bottom half. 

Laura Ansell from Ākina is part of the team administering the Rotary Kick-Start grants. “At idea stage, or for emerging enterprises, even a little funding can go a really long way.” she says. “We’re going to need lots of new ideas to make a dent in the serious issues we’re facing – problems like climate breakdown or biodiversity loss. Social enterprise has a role to play creating the solutions we need – and the kick-start grants are a great way to get two exciting social enterprise ideas off the ground.” says Ansell.

The 2018 recipients included The Debt Charity Project (Rotary Club of Newmarket) helping New Zealanders with debt issues pay their debt in an ethical manner and Wā Collective (Rotary Club of Wellington) which is focussing on stopping period poverty from affecting education in Aotearoa as well as eliminate impact of menstrual products going to landfill. 

Ansell says Ākina are part of the scheme due to their in-depth knowledge of the social enterprise sector in New Zealand.

“Opportunities for us to deliver funds directly to social enterprises are quite rare, but we know kick-start funding can make all the difference. That’s why it’s so great to partner with the Rotary Club of Newmarket and Rotary Club of Wellington again.” she says.

To find out more about who’s eligible for a Rotary Kick-Start Grant and how to apply, click the button below.


Update: The finalists and winners of the 2019 Rotary Kick-Start Awards were announced in October 2019. Find out more.