Impact Stories

Impact Hub Waikato Launches

June 12, 2019

4 min read

The only Impact Hub in Australasia, has just launched in Waikato, New Zealand. Impact Hub Waikato will support and expand the social enterprise sector by connecting social entrepreneurs, community, business and government and is now live and online at

“The Waikato region is well placed to deliver new social enterprises as there is great connectivity between key stakeholders, an entrepreneurial spirit and it is a more affordable place to pilot innovative social enterprise projects”, says Tony O’Brien, Co-Founder of Impact Hub Waikato.

“The Impact Hub is an extensive global network focused on building entrepreneurial communities at scale,” explains Co-Founder Jessie Liu. “Impact Hub is now alive in more than 100 cities around the world, and this network creates a powerful resource for our community of entrepreneurs here in the Waikato” she says.

Trust Waikato have supported the development of Impact Hub Waikato, and look forward to seeing it progress.

“The Impact Hub aligns with Trust Waikato’s strategic priorities of strengthening community vibrancy and resilience, particularly in rural and small communities,” say Dennis Turton, Chief Executive of Trust Waikato.

“Supporting community stakeholders to strategically increase their capacity and capability is a key focus for Trust Waikato, and social enterprises improve lives and offer alternatives that have a positive effect on society”, says Dennis.

“The Waikato region is already home to many cutting-edge social enterprises, like Ngaati Hauaa Mahi Trust, Yalla Yalla café and Xtreme Zero Waste in Raglan and we are well placed to lead in this area.”

Impact Hub Waikato’s #ImpactTowns initiative is being presented in rural centres by Mariana van der Walt, Co-Founder and Rural Lead for Impact Hub Waikato.

“Rural entrepreneurs face unique challenges in social business”, says Mariana, “and Impact Hub Waikato seeks to help communities identify key local issues, assist collaboration across all sectors toward prototyping and mobilise innovation for impact at scale”.

In its Impact Report 2018, Impact Hub reported that more than 6000 startups were founded at hubs over a four year period, and over 200 programmes to support entrepreneurs were delivered.

Impact Hub consists of three distinct elements:

1. Community – a vibrant community of passionate and entrepreneurial people who share an underlying intention to bring about positive change.

2. Inspiration – a source of inspiration that provides meaningful content through thought-provoking events, innovation labs, learning spaces, programs and facilitated conversations.

3. Space – an Impact Hub is a physical space that offers a flexible and highly functional infrastructure to work, meet, learn and connect. The magic happens where these three elements connect and are brought to life.

Impact Hub has a co-leadership structure and Impact Hub members share experiences and mentor others in the network on how to structure, fund, scale and manage social enterprises. Impact Hub Waikato are hosting a free workshop about their services, network and membership options on Thursday 13th June.

Who are the Co-founders of Impact Hub Waikato?

Impact Hub Waikato Co-Founders are:

· Jessie Liu (Lead Entrepreneur)

· Mariana van der Walt (Rural Lead)

· Tony O’Brien (Impact Investment & Corporate Engagement).

Paul Kerssens is the Programme Development Advisor.