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Social enterprise a winner at SBN awards

Submitted by on December 3, 2015 – 10:39 am

  Ākina Foundation has won the Eco Pro Cleaning Co. Community Innovation Award at the NZI Sustainable Business Network (SBN) Awards held at Shed 10 on Auckland’s waterfront on 24 November.

Ākina Foundation CEO Alex Hannant said winning the award for the Launchpad programme was a true honour, and recognition of the growing momentum around social enterprise.

“We were amongst quality finalists, including social enterprises ĀKAU, who participated in Launchpad, and Eat My Lunch, who won the SBN’s Communicating Sustainability award, so it’s an incredible privilege to receive this award.”

The judges said that, “Ākina are the first movers – even giving a start to some of the award entrants – and so are great influencers. The organisation is successful at courting the media and cross-sectoral partnerships. Ākina has the potential to change the New Zealand landscape and it couldn’t be a better tribute to Ākina’s work than to win this award.”

Mr Hannant said he was grateful to the partners and supporters of Ākina’s work, in particular those behind the inaugural Launchpad programme – the Department of Internal Affairs and Contact Energy. He also thanked NZ Post, KPMG, Russell McVeagh, Vodafone, AUT, SAP and the Ākina team members who supported the intensive accelerator programme.

“We also want to acknowledge the supreme SBN award winner, our friends at Taupō Beef. They are making a real contribution to a sustainable New Zealand with their innovative work in farming and water quality and whole-heartedly deserve this recognition.”

Mr Hannant said the team behind Taupō Beef, Mike and Sharon Barton, were also integral to 3F – Food, Farms & Freshwater – another Launchpad team.

Launchpad was an intensive accelerator programme designed to take inspired business ideas and turn them into tested, investment-ready social enterprises that would have a big impact on a social or environmental problem. Ākina recently released an update on the Launchpad teams’ progress, eight months after the conclusion of Launchpad.

The SBN Awards are New Zealand’s longest-standing and pre-eminent sustainability awards. The awards are now in their thirteenth year and are designed to recognise businesses that are making a real difference by innovating New Zealand’s business landscape.

The full results of winners for the 2015 Sustainable Business Network Awards can be found at: sustainable.org.nz/awards.

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