you may have


All the answers you need are below.


Q. What is the programme's timeline?

Year 1

May 2018 to June 2019
Engaging with the social enterprise sector to understand the sector’s requirements:

  • May to December 2018: consultation with the sector and carrying out research to gather insights on its needs and propose solutions

  • January to June 2019: applying insights gained to inform strategy and Year 2 details.

To understand what’s being delivered in year one see What will the programme deliver in Year 1 below on this page.

Year 2

July 2019 to June 2020
Implementing the key actions, created from Year 1 insights, to grow social enterprise in New Zealand. We foresee the sector being more connected at this stage.

Year 3

July 2020 to March 2021
Continuing the implementation of key actions and strengthening the social enterprise sector, based on the insights gained from Year 2.



Q. What will the programme deliver in Year 1?

In Year 1 we will deliver:

  • Face to face engagement opportunities around the country

  • Opportunities to engage online

  • Social enterprise and community enterprise case studies to demonstrate the positive difference they are making across Aotearoa

  • Regular programme updates online

  • A strategy for rangatahi (youth) to engage with social enterprise

  • A strategy identifying opportunities for Māori enterprise that are responsive to Māori aspirations

  • A report on the capability needs of social enterprises, community enterprises and transitioning non-profits

  • Increased availability of capability development for social enterprises, including in the regions

  • A strategy exploring the potential of online capability delivery

  • A strategy exploring the potential of a mentoring programme for social entrepreneurs

  • A report on the social enterprise sector’s needs for capital, the sources of capital and barriers to capital flow

  • Investment-readiness capability development for social enterprises  

  • The Impact Enterprise Fund (IEF) - New Zealand’s first domestic-focused impact investing fund

  • The National Advisory Board for Impact Investing New Zealand

  • A social procurement marketplace that will connect social enterprises with buyers of goods and services


Q. What are the contracted outcomes for the programme?

The contracted outcomes for the programme are: 

  • A flourishing social enterprise sector

  • The social enterprise sector to contribute to meet the government's economic, social and environmental goals

  • The government to develop a clear articulation of its ongoing contribution to the social enterprise sector beyond this programme

Q. Who’s involved, what are our responsibilities and how will we all work together?

The programme is a partnership between the Ākina Foundation and the Department of Internal Affairs, on behalf of the New Zealand Government. It is delivered with the Community Enterprise Network Trust (CENT).

The programme has established a sector-based steering group that represents, channels, and safeguards the interests, values, and experiences of social and community enterprises across the programme. This was initially established with the CENT (as primary network partners).


Q. Who is Ākina and what is their role?

The Ākina Foundation is New Zealand’s principal intermediary for social enterprise. We have been named the strategic partner to the Government to develop the social enterprise sector in New Zealand. 

At Ākina, we believe that social entrepreneurs and social enterprise are key to building an economy that regenerates the environment and creates social foundations for our people and communities to thrive.

Our vision is for a sustainable, prosperous, inclusive New Zealand and world. We exist to transform New Zealand’s economy, and we do this by harnessing the power of enterprise for positive social and environmental progress, through:

  • Supporting, growing, and empowering the social enterprise sector

  • Influencing and enabling impact across the country

We also work with civil society, government, business, and philanthropic partners to advance strategies and broader thinking that relate to social impact, innovation, and inclusive economic development.

Q. Who is CENT and what is their role?

The Community Enterprise Network Trust (CENT) was established in 2006 by community enterprise operators who had been working together informally for many years. The goal was to create a framework for sharing knowledge and experience for the benefit of communities taking on a range of community-led development projects. 

CENT trades as the Zero Waste Network and represents community enterprises across Aotearoa New Zealand which are working towards zero waste. CENT’s mission is to connect, educate, enable, and inspire members to reach their goals and to be a unifying voice at local, regional, and national levels. 

Zero Waste Network members have been working with social enterprise models since 1989 to create social, environmental, and local economic benefits for their own communities. 

The Zero Waste Network regularly collaborates with the Community Energy Network and Environment Hubs Aotearoa on joint projects, including an annual hui with a focus on strengthening communities. The ZWN and its members also work with social enterprises, community organisations, iwi, local and regional councils, industry sector groups, government and businesses on joint projects to achieve shared goals.


Q. Is my organisation social enterprise?

Does your organisation… 

  • Have an economic, social, cultural and/or environmental mission that provides a public or community benefit?

  • Sell goods or services to fund your mission?

  • Derive a substantial portion of income from trade?

  • Use the majority of profit/surplus in the fulfilment of your mission?

If so, you meet the definition of ‘social enterprise.’  


Q. Can I get involved even if I’m not a social enterprise?

Yes, absolutely! 

As you can see in the details of The Impact Initiative, we'll engage with a wide range of organisations, including government agencies, corporates, investors, philanthropy, education, and more. If you’re interested in getting involved, you can engage with us here.