Impact Hub is the world’s largest network focused on fostering social enterprises – these are businesses that have a social and environmental focus, much like the Seagull Centre in Thames and the Coromandel Independent Living Trust in Coromandel Town. Impact Hubs globally offer space where support and assistance is provided to new and established entrepreneurs who need to grow and upscale their business skill sets and collaborate with like-minded or diverse people to develop and form new business concepts - all this encourages economic growth with a social conscience.. Last year Trust Waikato provided a grant to Wintec to investigate the potential of bringing an Impact Hub to the Waikato. “Now one group has submitted an official application to become an Impact Hub,” says Mariana Van der Walt, the Director of Research and Development for Wintec. The location has not yet been determined, but a lot of thought is going into how an Impact Hub could play a significant role in developing rural Waikato and our Economic Development Officer Marlene Perry is pressing to have it located in our district. The Impact Hub global network was founded in Austria and now has more than 100 locations in 50-plus countries across five continents. An Impact Hub provides a space for social enterprises and opportunities to network, share experiences, and mentoring on how to structure, fund, scale and manage social enterprises. For more information about Impact Hub and the journey so far contact Marlene Perry.