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The Generator

Introduction

The Generator is an MSD-funded, four year initiative that takes a grass-roots approach to addressing financial hardship in some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable communities.

The Generator was co-designed by people who have had first-hand experience of hardship. The programme is currently active in South Auckland, North Waikato, Porirua, Whanganui, and Tairawhiti.

By putting whanau and communities at the centre of developing their own solutions to financial challenges, the goal of The Generator is to spark abundance through supporting action and enterprise.

The Generator is designed to help people realise their talents and abilities, increase their incomes and employment opportunities, build their skills and capabilities, and create strong connections and networks in vulnerable communities.

How the Generator works

The Generator encourages individuals, whanau and community groups to carefully plan a sustainable enterprise before applying for seed funding that can then be used turn their business ideas into real enterprises.

Applicants usually need to complete a series of planning steps before receiving seed funding. Successful applicants are introduced to one of a network of ‘community generators’ whose role is to co-produce the enterprise. Community Generators act as mentors and guides and networkers for those who have received seed funding.

Generator initiatives already underway include teaching chess to children in schools, a nail salon, a bakery, a hangi food service, a courier business, a dance company and a lawn mowing business.

Backbone organisation selected

Following an open tender process, Vaka Tautua and Emerge Aotearoa were selected as the ‘backbone’ organisation to manage the day to day operations of The Generator.

Vaka Tautua is a national ‘by Pacific for Pacific’ health and social service provider that aims to help improve the health and wellbeing of Pacific people. Emerge Aotearoa provides a wide range of community-based mental health, addiction, disability support and social housing services nationwide. The Ministry is working closely with these two organisations to ensure a close working relationship with the BFC sector.

Find out more

Find out more about the target population for The Generation, the design process, the case for change and the draft Theory of Change.

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