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Rotary Club and Ākina Foundation team up to kick-start social enterprise

05 May 2017

The Rotary Club of Wellington and the Ākina Foundation have teamed up once more to help kick-start social enterprises in the Wellington region.

Now in its third year running, there is $10,000 cash to be won with up to $8,000 for the top venture with the remainder to be awarded to the first runner-up.

Last year the winning entrant was LearnCoach, a start-up delivering online NCEA tutorials at no cost to students. In 2016 NCEA students watched more than a whopping one million tutorials on the LearnCoach website.

Founder and CEO of LearnCoach, Dave Cameron says the prize provided an invaluable boost for the company.

“The Rotary-Ākina Kickstart Award was an amazing boost to our organisation. The Rotary money allowed us to make online tutorials for Chemistry that have helped 8,000 students in the six-months following the award,” says Cameron.

These tutorials will continue to help thousands of students in the years to come.”

Ākina Foundation chief executive, Alex Hannant welcomes the return of the award.

“We are excited to be partnering with New Zealand’s oldest Rotary Club to support social enterprises for the third year running,” says Hannant.

“It’s fantastic to see the original supporters of some of New Zealand’s most valued social causes embracing the new generation of social entrepreneurs coming through. Previous recipients have done great things after winning the award.”

Rotary’s acting chair of Vocational Services Committee, Leanna Dey shares these sentiments.

 “The Rotary Club of Wellington believe social enterprises have a key role to play in supporting strong, resilient communities, and thinking up new ways to solve social and environmental challenges,” Dey says.

“We realise support for social enterprise in New Zealand is still young, and see this huge opportunity to inspire other philanthropic and service organisations to do things differently.”

There are a few conditions to qualifying for the award, including the need to be a Wellington resident - although the project may have a local, national or global impact.

Application close 30th of June with the winner to be announced at a Rotary event on 31st of July.

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