Rotary kick-start award winner Zeal launching creative studio to employ young people

Zeal is the 2017 winner of the Rotary Club of Wellington Social Enterprise Kick-start, run in conjunction with the Ākina Foundation.

Zeal is a family of passionate, creative misfits who believe that every young kiwi is creative and who dedicate their lives to helping them discover, express and develop their unique creativity. Zeal are launching a studio that will deliver creative design services while employing youth.

On behalf of Zeal, Wellington Manager James Harris said the team was delighted to receive the award of $7,000.

“We are extremely thankful for receiving the Rotary Kickstart Award. It means a lot for us to have the backing and support of The Rotary Club of Wellington and Ākina, who are working together to raise the profile of social enterprise in Aotearoa New Zealand. This money is going to cover our customer acquisition costs in our startup phase, which will allow us to employ our first young person.”

Ākina Foundation Project Manager Chris O’Neill said, “The Rotary Social Enterprise Kick-start Award is more than a helping hand for the worthy winners. It’s a chance for us to promote the social enterprise heroes that are putting their hearts and souls into creating something new for the good of us all.”

Zane (18), a young person who was employed into his first-job at Zeal’s Social Enterprise cafe had this to say: “I was employed at Stories Cafe and it was an awesome thing for me and a highlight of my youth. I know that the creative studio will help people just as much as it helped me. ”

Runner up, and winner of a $3000 award, Collaborate Wellington is a mobile app that matches young people with volunteer opportunities that are relevant to their skill set and interests. Community organisations post specific tasks, (such as short-term web designing, or a beach cleanup), and connect instantly with volunteers who indicate interest.

Co-Founder Ceara McAuliffe Bickerton commented “This grant will allow us to kickstart building our app. We have charities and social organisations ready to pilot app. The grant money will help us develop our prototype into a real product they can use to connect to our growing database of excited volunteers waiting to contribute their skills. ”

Rotary members watched three-minute videos submitted by the finalists then cast votes to determine the winner and runner-up.

Check out Zeal’s video below.

Runner up Collaborate Wellington’s video can be viewed below.

A very honourable mention also to finalists Tane Kaha, The Fresh Desk and NISA Clothing.

Rotary’s President Peter Lawson said “We are delighted to sponsor the Social Enterprise kickstart awards – we are very keen to help lead positive social change in our local and wider communities. The organisations we see applying for these awards are excellent examples of businesses providing work for disadvantaged groups, or providing services to disadvantaged groups.”

“We admire their energy and purpose , so we are working with Ākina to help as many organisations as possible.”

The Rotary Club of Wellington has been an innovator since the 1920s, instrumental in establishing the Wellington Karitane Hospital, the Crippled Children’s Society (now Disability Action), Meals on Wheels, Cancer Society of NZ amongst others.