Far North Thrive Programme

Applications for this programme are now closed.

Would you like to help your community thrive by creating a social enterprise? The Far North Thrive programme will help you explore how to start a new or young organisation to improve your community.

Many communities in New Zealand’s Far North face social and economic challenges but it is also a region of breath taking beauty and rich natural resources. It has passionate and active communities who deeply understand the challenges and opportunities in the region.

Who better than locals to start enterprises that solve a social or environmental problems facing their community leading to sustainable and prosperous communities?

What is it?

Far North Thrive is a four-month programme for individuals or teams to explore new ideas and learn how to start a successful social enterprise. This programme has been especially designed for Far North communities and will be delivered in partnership by the Ākina Foundation and the Far North District Council.

Who is it for?

Individuals and teams who are keen to make a difference and have an enterprise idea to improve a community in the Far North. Business experience isn’t necessary, although it is helpful.

Time commitment

Approximately 4 days per month across 4 months. This includes 9 days of place-based workshops at locations across the Far North. The programme starts at the end of April.

Questions?  Please see the FAQs below or email info@akina.org.nz





Who is the programme for?

It’s for anyone who deeply cares about their community and wants to make positive and lasting change.  You’ll be driven by a social or environmental purpose, and you want to use business practices to achieve this. More specifically this programme is for:

• Local business leaders that wish to leverage skills and experience for social purpose businesses

•  Community leaders that want to harness business to achieve positive outcomes for their community

• Individuals that care about the Far North and want to gain skills to lead the creation of community social enterprise

• Existing social enterprises or community organisations that are pursuing new social enterprise activities.

We will select people who will most benefit from this type of programme to create an impactful, sustainable, enterprise in their community.

What do we mean by social purpose business / social enterprise?

Social purpose businesses go above and beyond business as usual – they’re created primarily for the benefit of the community where they operate. Often this means they’re geared to tackle some of the most challenging issues facing the community. Social purpose business might provide employment opportunities for long term unemployed (CBEC), improve the health of people and communities (Patu Aotearoa ) create valuable assets or businesses that are collectively owned by the community (Blueskin Energy) The possibilities are as varied as the challenges faced by local communities.

Why should I join this programme?

You’re ready to step up and take bold action in your community. You want to see your community thrive due to new jobs and access to healthcare, education and more.  You realise that this can be achieved by taking the first step and learning skills to identify and develop a business idea that solves a challenge facing your community.

How is this NOT a training programme?

You won’t simply be sitting through workshops over the four months. You’ll be taking charge of your learning and you’ll be challenged to take the first steps to create this enterprise. But you won’t be alone. You’ll be surrounded by others on a similar journey and experienced facilitators who are tasked with helping you succeed.

How long is the programme and when is it on?

Four months, starting 29 April 2015 and ending on 21 August 2015 (Presentation Day).

How much time will I need to commit?

There are eight one-day workshops during the programme that you’ll need to attend.

There is an additional Presentation Day to share your journey with your community.  You will also be working on your enterprise idea between workshops.

The first two workshops are on April 29 and 30, 2015.

Other workshop dates are:

  • 21 and 22 May
  • 18 and 19 June
  • 23 and 24 July
  • 21 August (Presentation Day)

Presentation Day is when you’ll present your ideas to your community to secure more support.

In addition, there will be work that needs to be done between each of the workshops to ensure you get the most of the programme.  We estimate this is a minimum of two days a month. With workshops and work outside of those days, you should expect to commit at least 4 days per month to this journey.  The more time, energy and focus you put in – the more you’ll get out of it.

What is the last day to submit an application?

The closing date for applications is 31 March 2015 at 5:30 pm.

How are programme participants selected?

Participants / teams will be selected based on:

  1. Potential impact of the idea – does it solve a problem or create an opportunity in your community?  How big is the potential impact for your community?
  2. Understanding of your market – what do you know about your community and its needs?  Is your enterprise commercially viable? i.e. will you have customers?
  3. Support network – how engaged are you with your community?  Are you a leader or can you engage others to support you on your journey?
  4. Track record of success – have you run a project / initiative / enterprise in your community in the past or do you have one running now?

What is the application process?

Once applications have closed (31 March 2015 at 5:30 pm) Ākina will review applications and select individuals / teams for the programme based on the criteria outlined above.  If we need further information we’ll be in touch.  Those selected will be notified by Friday 10 April 2015.  Those not selected will be notified by Friday 17 April 2015.

What happens after the programme?

During the four months you’ll have started to build a support network that will help you take your idea forward. By this stage you will have gained the momentum to continue working on an idea that will make a difference in your community.

What will I come out with after the four months?

• Skills and confidence to take your idea for a community enterprise to the next stage

• A support network that believes in you and your idea and can help you to achieve your goals

What is Ākina’s role?  What is the Far North District Council’s role?

The Ākina Foundation is leading the design of the programme and will be facilitating workshops.  Ken Ross from the Far North District Council is an experienced mentor and will be co-facilitating throughout the programme alongside Ākina.