A charity established by a successful Waikato couple to support social enterprises around the world has a new secure funding stream thanks to a dedicated fund held by Momentum Waikato, the region's community foundation.
Heather and Rod Claycomb are seeing lives changed throughout the world thanks to their unique family charity, which supports social entrepreneurs to start new businesses for the benefit of people in need.
The couple are both entrepreneurs themselves who own two successful Hamilton-based businesses, award-winning PR company HMC and dairy biotech company Quantec. They founded All Good Ventures three years ago out of a shared passion to see people from all corners of the globe freed from deprivation through others' clever business ideas.
Since its inception, the Claycombs' charity has already helped to launch nine new social enterprises throughout the world, including various parts of New Zealand, as well as Australia, Canada, Uganda and Kenya. They will support a handful more this year following their annual application, which opens next month.
"In our experience, there's a surprising amount of people worldwide with a heart to start 'good' businesses. Businesses that put all profit towards access to healthcare or education; delivery from food deprivation; or perhaps work opportunities for the unemployed, to name just a few examples," Rod said. "Sadly, most don't have the resources or business expertise to launch. That's where All Good Ventures comes in."
Uniquely, the charity doesn't simply fund social enterprise ideas and walk away. "Our one-of-a-kind model is to offer three key things to social entrepreneurs who apply and are accepted by All Good Ventures. We call these the three Ms, or money, mentoring and muscle.
"In short, our chosen ventures receive seed funding ranging from $5000 to $20,000 to kickstart their business idea; a year's worth of business mentoring via a dedicated business mentor, starting with a business plan; as well as extra "muscle" support with jobs that crop up in their first year of business," Heather said.
One of the first social enterprises supported by All Good Ventures is OneDay Health, which launches health centres in the most remote parts of Uganda. Their goal is that one day, every rural Ugandan will access quality healthcare. OneDay Health recently launched its 29th health centre and has treated 65,000-plus patients.
"When we first met All Good Ventures we had launched eight OneDay Health Centres, but we had much bigger dreams. At that time they gave us the biggest grant we had received, which helped us start launching health centres in two whole new regions of northern Uganda," said Oneday Health co-founder, Kiwi-born Nick Laing.
Another All Good Ventures-supported social enterprise is Restore Enterprises. This Australian-based business launched just last year and aims to employ people with disabilities, injuries and mental illness to manufacture and restore furniture for sale. The goal is to nurture their employment skills in a secure environment, and later see them move into permanent work with other employers.
"The support provided by All Good Ventures - both financial and business related - has been pivotal to us launching and to how far we have come since. We would recommend them to any emerging social enterprise, even if you're only at the very early concept stage," said Restore Enterprises co-founder Seath Holswich.
Remarkably, since the Claycombs started All Good Ventures three years ago, it has been financed mostly through all annual profits from Heather's public relations business HMC, now a social enterprise itself, and personal donations from the founders plus a few friends and family.
In a recent effort to secure the charity's funding stream well into the future, Heather and Rod started the All Good Ventures named fund, which sits within Momentum Waikato's group of regional endowment funds and was made public this month.
Driven by Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr, Momentum's investment programme is providing excellent returns for a variety of Waikato community entities and projects.
"This is a very exciting step for All Good Ventures. Via this newly established fund, anyone can make a donation or leave a bequest, which will be wisely invested to generate ongoing returns for All Good Ventures. This means All Good Ventures can support social entrepreneurs in perpetuity for many generations to come," Rod said.
Momentum chief executive Kelvyn Eglinton describes a named fund with Momentum Waikato as an effective way for local for-purpose organisations to secure greater investment income, as they benefit from the scale and diversity of the regional endowment fund in Momentum's care.
"Many small-to-medium for-purpose organisations have their capital sitting in the bank providing minimal interest," says Kelvyn.
"It makes sense for such entities to put that money into Momentum's regional endowment fund, like All Good Ventures has, as its scale and the expertise of our investment partners Craigs and Forsyth Barr ensure much greater returns, providing a meaningful and sustainable income stream and/or capital growth."
Anyone can give to the All Good Ventures Fund via momentumwaikato.nz/donate. Donations small and large, ongoing, and one off, are welcomed and celebrated.
All Good Ventures will accept applications from social entrepreneurs worldwide next month during its annual application round, open from March 1 to 31.
Rod and Heather are originally from Pennsylvania, the United States, but have lived in Hamilton for more than 22 years. Their entrepreneurial careers began in Colorado where Rod was employed with a startup organisation, while Heather started her first communications consultancy.
In the late 90s, Rod was recruited to work in New Zealand and soon thereafter became managing director of a new biotech venture. To this day, his entrepreneurial journey continues through his present company, Quantec.
After moving to New Zealand, Heather held several jobs in PR and marketing before starting her own successful PR agency, HMC, in 2004. Both Heather and Rod grew up in strong Christian families and their faith is the driving force behind All Good Ventures.