Eleven teams from across the country have been selected to take part in the Launchpad, a programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground.

The programme, co-sponsored by Contact Energy and the Department of Internal Affairs, aims to deliver a cohort of promising social enterprises, ready to create meaningful change for communities and country.

The selected teams are based across the country, stretching from Kaikohe to Queenstown - and hail from a variety of backgrounds and professions. Participants include students, recent graduates, professionals setting up joint ventures between existing organisations, and people developing start-ups in their spare time while also working.

Their enterprise ideas are equally varied, with a team developing technology solutions for people with profound physical disabilities, a partnership between Barnardos and the Sustainable Business Council to develop a new childcare service, a team from Hastings developing a new health and fitness franchise designed specifically for Maori and Pasifika, and a team from across the country forming to develop an accreditation brand for beef that recognises responsible waterway management.

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The teams selected intend to build enterprises that will deliver scalable social or environmental impact. The Launchpad will provide them with the business mentoring and support they need to get them off the ground - including access to funders and impact investors.

"We were blown away by the variety of ideas and the passion and commitment from the 134 teams who applied," the Akina team said.

"We were also really excited about the number of applications - it demonstrates how many people in New Zealand want to create positive change through innovation and entrepreneurship but need the right support to reach their potential."

The eleven teams selected are all at different stages and will work with support teams to identify objectives for the programme in the first workshop, coming up in early October.

Some interesting facts:

• Nearly half (46%) of the Launchpad teams are building social enterprises that focus on health and social care challenges within communities.

• 46% of the teams are exploring solutions to environmental and recycling challenges.

• 46% of the teams are working on enterprises that incorporate digital, media or technology solutions.

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• Over a third of the teams (36%) are developing enterprises that encompass training and employment component.

• 27% of the teams have a youth and education angle within their enterprise.

• Two teams out of eleven have strong community development and regeneration angles to their enterprise.

• There are also teams exploring enterprises that tackle issues within the housing sector, the leisure, sports, arts and culture sector, and the food and agriculture sector.

Read all about the 11 teams here
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