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Australasia's first Impact Hub gets underway in the Waikato

28 June 2019

Impact Hub is a global movement that enables collaboration between communities, business and government to advance social enterprises that are creating solutions to the world's most pressing issues - and a group in the Waikato now has the first licence from the Impact Hub headquarters in Europe to operate in Australasia.

The Coromandel is getting behind the initiative and Impact Hub Waikato is now seeking a location to operate from. But until a bricks and mortar location can be found, Impact Hub Waikato will operate online, using video conferencing, and out of temporary space such as libraries and meeting halls.

Impact Hub Waikato's online platform now live at

“The Waikato region is well placed to deliver new social enterprises as there is great connectivity between 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.

Local entrepreneur and co-founder of Impact Hub Waikato, and Director of NZ institute of Rural Entrepreneurship, Mariana Van Der Walt, is presenting the Impact Hubs Waikato initiative.

Ms Van Der Walt is currently collecting stories of local entrepreneurs and social entities around the Coromandel including the Seagull Centre in Thames and Transition Town Thames member Mark Skelding's work on sustainable energy. Blogs and stories will be loaded onto

Impact Hub Waikato is in the setting-up phase and does not yet have a permanent space. Trust Waikato is supporting the initiative and would like the eventual Impact Hub headquarters to be in a rural place like Thames or Coromandel Town.

Until permanent spaces are created, Impact Hub plans to have a mobile unit, and Ms Van Der Walt will be travelling to rural townships to support initiatives, projects and entrepreneurs.
Find Impact Hub Waikato events near you using the Te Maia website

The Waikato is made up of many rural towns and the focus is on a rural entrepreneurship programme rather than a city incubator.
“Rural entrepreneurs face unique challenges in social business,” says Ms Van Der Walt.

“Impact Hub Waikato seeks to help communities identify key local issues, assist with collaboration across all sectors toward prototyping, and mobilise innovation for impact at scale".

As membership increases Ms Van Der Walt will be available for member and information meetings in rural areas. 

For more information contact

First member story 

Impact Hub Waikato's first member story is about a renewable energy project that Transition Town Thames's Mark Skelding has been working on for a decade. Click here to read more.