Launchpad supports social enterprise start-ups

Date: 15th January 2015

Akina Foundation, an organisation that helps grow social enterprise across New Zealand, has announced eleven socially savvy teams it aims to propel to the heights of success as part of its latest social initiative – Launchpad. Its mission is to support the growth and development of emerging social enterprises looking to create transformational social and environmental impact.

Sponsored by Contact Energy and the Department of Internal Affairs, Launchpad runs until March this year. It will assist eleven successful up-and-coming enterprises with practical hands-on business mentoring and development support, including access to funders and impact investors to help get them off the ground and transform their ideas into thriving, self-sustaining businesses.

The teams’ offerings are diverse, and meet social needs from all over New Zealand. Ventures range from responsible farming, group exercise programmes for Maori and affordable eyesight models, to novel flatting apps, reusing prosthetic limbs and community driven furniture design.

Rate My Flat

rate my flat

Left to right, Leander Schulz, Cade Bedford, Letisha Nicholas and Lindsey Horne, of Rate My Flat. Photo by Ted Baghurst.

One of eleven start-ups, Rate My Flat (RMF) is a website with an online database of rental properties that are rated by their previous tenants – so future tenants know what they are getting before signing on the dotted line.

(If you went to the Findlay & Co Capitalising on the Cloud seminar in Queenstown in November, you may recognise one of group above. Letisha is involved in another socially-conscious enterprise, the Xero-integrated business software, Thankyou Payroll.)

With a vision to see Kiwis living in homes that meet their needs now and into the future, the Rate My Flat website aims to provide useful, truthful and objective information so tenants can make better informed decisions when flat-hunting.

The site also provides useful home improvement information for both tenants and property owners to help landlords and tenants make their houses warmer, healthier and more energy efficient.

“Rate My Flat is determined to help improve rental housing across New Zealand and empower tenants to make better-informed decisions,” says the team of four flatmates and good friends, who are working towards completing their degrees at Otago University.

Taking a non-biased view, RMF is also committed to working alongside property owners or property managers to showcase and celebrate improvements they make in their properties. “We allow property owners to have a right of response to any feedback and ratings that their property receives.”

Prizes to be awarded for best enterprises

During the programme, there will also be four prizes awarded by Contact Energy to boost the impact the teams can have – the most innovative idea; best community engagement; most improved enterprise; and the people’s choice – vote here from February 2, 2015. The people’s choice winner is announced at the end of February.

Here’s hoping by March, with the support of Akina, they’ll be ready to transform New Zealand and create a better place for all.



Posted in: Alexandra, Christchurch, Latest News, Queenstown, Wanaka