Low income people with amazing big ideas will be coached into earning or saving a little extra in a new programme to be piloted in Whanganui, says Nicola Patrick.

She's the programme director of the Thrive Whanganui Trust, formed in December to encourage social enterprise businesses that have social, environmental and cultural goals, as well as generating income.

The trust will deliver the Ministry of Social Development's new programme, The Generator. It's for people who either have or would be eligible for a community services card and have ideas about how to better themselves or their community.

It could also help people who need a confidence boost to step back into paid work.


The applicants will get together and be coached to achieve their goals. They will enter "success steps" into an online programme. Progress could lead to small amounts of seed funding for their idea - perhaps $200 to $10,000.

"This is about growing opportunity for people who have ideas to increase income or reduce costs and who just need a little injection to get over the first capital hurdle," Patrick said.

Whanganui is one of up to 10 places where the programme will be trialled. Others include Porirua and west Auckland.

In Whanganui, Patrick will be employed part-time and based at Ngā Tai o Te Awa in Wilson St. The trust is also looking to employ a part-time "community generator" to support the applicants.

The idea is to grow prosperity through micro-enterprise, social enterprise and community action.

Patrick is dead keen to get it going.

Anyone who is eligible and has an idea they want to work on can email info@thrivenow.org.nz.