Rotary Club of Newmarket Social Enterprise Kick-Start Award 2017 winner!

The Rotary Club of Newmarket and the Ākina Foundation have chosen the winner for the Kick-Start Award 2017 prize of $10,000. On the 5th of September, the Rotary Club Newmarket assembled with seven finalists for three-minute pitches in front of the club.

With voting based on the financial plan, community impact and how the money will benefit each business, Cottonseed was deemed the winner. Congratulations Cottonseed! Though there was only one team chosen for the prize, there were seventeen entrants total and six other finalists that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Cottonseed will use this money to purchase more equipment to further extend their reach into the community, hiring and empowering women in need to become the leaders they are capable of becoming. To learn more about Cottonseed and see the other spectacular finalists, check out their videos below.


  • Make Give Live
  • Eat My Lunch
  • Organic Edible Garden
  • Duffle & Co.
  • Foster Our Future
  • Cottonseed
  • Nanogirl Labs Ltd

If you would like to read a bit more and see their videos, check out what each team was bringing to the table to make it so hard to pick one winner!

Make Give Live

Community Crafted Warmth & Wellbeing.
Easing isolation and improving mental health & wellbeing through the therapy of social connection and mindful making with purpose.
Groups of people get together every week to enjoy each others company and make beanies that we sell as ‘buy one – give one’ so for each one sold we give one to a homeless or older person in need in NZ. The beanies are made from pure NZ wool and sold online, at markets, and through facebook.

Eat My Lunch

Eat My Lunch is a social enterprise with the mission to ensure no child at school goes hungry. Through the Buy one Give one model, they allow everyday Kiwis to support and feed other Kiwi Kids that would otherwise go without. Eat My Lunch strongly believes that as a community, we will one day be able to feed all those kids that would otherwise go without lunch across New Zealand.

Organic Edible Garden

Organic Edible Garden teaches people how to grow their own food organically. They upload high-quality webisodes weekly on their website so all people have to do, in order to create their own productive garden, is follow them (Facebook, YouTube, OEG newsletter). Their aim is for ‘growing your own food’ to become the norm again. It has the potential to hugely positively impact the planet and improve everyone’s hauora.

Duffle & Co.

Duffle & Co. is an apparel company and social enterprise who believes that you should be able to buy remarkable products that provide a direct benefit to those who make them and the environment, without having to compromise on quality. All of their products are made by talented craftsmen that have been unearthed from all around the world. To date, Duffle & Co. has helped micro family businesses in Nepal, Vietnam, India and Indonesia, creating job opportunities, community growth and educational development for their children.

They also have partnerships with local NZ social and environmental initiatives, by which sales proceeds and volunteer time supports tree planting to protect NZ waterways and food rescue, helping nourish kiwis in need.

Foster Our Future

Foster Our Future reduces educational inequities through self-sustainable mentoring and tutoring. We provide top quality, ethical tutoring in university, which funds a next generation mentoring program in low decile high schools. By teaching core, researched-backed learning skills, our mentoring empowers students with the tools to continually overcome their own barriers, instead of being spoon-fed by outdated education systems.


Cottonseed is a New Zealand based clothing label stemmed from a non-profit organisation that aims to produce sustainable garments made with natural fabrics. NZ Ethnic Women’s Trust started this project as a community enterprise. The organisation supports immigrant women with resettling and integrating into their new society by building on the skills they brought with them. Their clothing aesthetic is minimal, classic and timeless. All garments are created from our workroom in Auckland, New Zealand.

Nanogirl Labs Ltd

Nanogirl Labs Ltd is a social enterprise created by co-founders Joe Davis and Dr. Michelle Dickinson MNZM to inspire, educate and empower as many people as possible through STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Their new project is “”The Kitchen Science Cookbook”” – a lovingly crafted, beautiful recipe book, where every recipe is a science experiment you can do at home with your children, using only ingredients that are easily found in your pantry.