Youth entrepreneurship programme receives major boost

15 Dec 2021

Media Release

Otago Community Trust has funded over $950,000 in support of a wide range of community projects in the Trust’s final funding round for 2021, one of the largest grants being awarded to support the youth entrepreneurship programme Mana Rangatahi.

A $300,000 grant was awarded to the Transition to Work Trust to support a new partnership with INNOV8HQ to continue the ongoing delivery of the Mana Rangatahi programme, a programme which is dedicated to supporting new pathways for youth of all ethnicities and backgrounds aged between 18-24 years.

Developed in January 2020 by Heidi Renata, funding for the programme was initially provided by the Ministry of Youth via Start-up Dunedin.  Further trials of the programme have produced exceptional results with more than 75% of graduates progressing to full time, entrepreneurial or part time employment. 

Trust chair, Diccon Sim said Otago Community Trust trustees were particularly impressed with the success of the Mana Rangatahi programme to date and it’s close alignment with the Trust’s strategic priority of raising resilience and capacity of youth in Otago gave rise to a strong case for support.

Transition to Work Trust chair, Dr John Guthrie, said the significant grant from Otago Community Trust will allow the Transition to Work team to support Heidi and INNOV8HQ further expand and develop the programme over the next two years.

“INNOV8HQ have a programme that can be expanded to other regions, working together we believe that we can better respond to the increase in demand we are seeing due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.” 

It really is a dream partnership for all parties and one that will transform the lives and build the capacity of youth in Otago, said Dr Guthrie.

Heidi Renata, founder of Innov8HQ and the Mana Rangatahi programme, said it was simply “the best news before Christmas”.

"Connecting, resourcing and empowering young people is hugely rewarding, knowing we have funding to continue to do what we love with our Mana Rangatahi programme is just awesome.”

A $200,000 grant to Catholic Social Services was also awarded in December to support with the construction of a new Family Support Centre adjacent to existing offices in Macandrew Road, South Dunedin.

Mike Tonks, director of Catholic Social Services said the social service agency was very excited to be advancing this new build.

“The project is particularly focused on providing better spaces for family focused services.”

The Family Support Centre will make a huge difference in so many ways, it will help us expand our direct caring services to the community, it will help us deliver more targeted support to vulnerable families and their children, it will ensure we have a child friendly space catering to those with disabilities and it will free up space in our current location to help deliver counselling services to those in our community with low to moderate mental health issues, said Mr Tonks.

Other organisations benefiting from grants in December included the Southland Charity Hospital who received a $64,500 grant to assist with the cost of establishing the new charity hospital, the grant specifically being earmarked to support the purchase of a Soluscope Drying Cabinet. A $20,000 grant was awarded to Waitaki Community Recreation Centre Trust which will assist with the cost of a flooring and lighting upgrade. 

In total 54 community organisations were supported in the Trust’s final funding round for the year with a total of $954,677 approved.



Otago Community Trust Grants, December 2021


Central Otago District Council



Central Otago Friendship Network



Central Otago A & P Association



Life Education Trust Heartland Otago Southland



Catlins Medical Centre (2017) Ltd



South Otago Theatrical Soc Inc



Catholic Social Services



Youthline Otago Inc



Dunedin Community House Trust Inc



Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust



ChatBus Trust



Anglican Family Care



Ake Ake Theatre Company



The Waitati Music Festival Inc



Otago Neighbourhood Support Charitable Trust



Green Island Fireside Club Inc



Punga Croquet Club Inc



Blueskin Youth & Community Amenities Association



Royal NZ Pipe Band Assn - Otago Centre



Alhambra/Union Rugby Football Club Inc



Broad Bay School



Mornington Roslyn Lawn Tennis Club Inc



Otago Polytechnic - College of Community Development and Personal Wellbeing, English Language Centre



Otago Youth Wellness Trust



CCS Disability Action Otago Inc



St Hildas Collegiate School



Wakari School



St Clair Bowling Club Inc



Dhammachai International Research Institute (DIRI)



Catholic Social Services



North Otago Art Society Inc



Janet Frame Eden Street Trust



Waitaki Summer Music Camp



North Otago Sports Bodies Association Incorporated



Waitaki Community Recreation Centre Trust



Oamaru Elim Church Trust



The Work Opportunities Trust



Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary Sector Research Centre



Otago Aero Club Inc



Crohn's & Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust



Cavalcade Host Town Committee Inc



Diabetes New Zealand



The Work Opportunities Trust



Male Survivors Otago



Transition to Work Trust



The Southland Charitable Hospital Trust



Poolburn School



Mint Charitable Trust



QLDC - Upper Clutha Libraries



Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust



Kahu Youth Trust



Challenge Wanaka Sports Trust



Aspiring Gymsports Inc



Hawea Community Assn Inc