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Waikato business owners dedicating their profits to passion

Waikato couple Heather and Rod Claycomb are seeing lives changed across the world thanks to their unique family charity that supports social entrepreneurs to start new businesses for the benefit of people in need.

The couple are both entrepreneurs themselves who own two successful Hamilton-based businesses, award-winning PR company HMC and dairy biotech company Quantec.

They founded All Good Ventures three years ago out of a shared passion to see people from all corners of the globe freed from deprivation through others’ clever business ideas.

Since its inception, the Claycombs’ charity has already helped to launch nine new social enterprises across the world including various parts of New Zealand, as well as Australia, Canada, Uganda and Kenya. They will support a handful more this year following their annual application which opens next month.

“In our experience, there’s a surprising amount of people worldwide with a heart to start ‘good’ businesses. Businesses that put all profit towards access to healthcare or education; delivery from food deprivation; or perhaps work opportunities for the unemployed, just to name a few examples,” Rod said. “Sadly, most don’t have the resources or business expertise to launch. That’s where All Good Ventures comes in.”

Uniquely, the charity doesn’t simply fund social enterprise ideas and walk away. “Our one-of-a-kind model is to offer three key things to social entrepreneurs who apply and are accepted by All Good Ventures. We call these the three Ms, or Money, Mentoring and Muscle.”

“In short, our chosen ventures receive seed funding ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to kickstart their business idea; a year’s worth of business mentoring via a dedicated business mentor, starting with a business plan; as well as extra “muscle” support with jobs that crop up in their first year of business,” Heather said.

One of the first social enterprises supported by All Good Ventures is OneDay Health, which launches health centres in the most remote parts of Uganda. Their goal is that one day, every rural Ugandan will access quality healthcare. OneDay Health recently launched its 29th health centre and has treated 65,000+ patients.

“When we first met All Good Ventures we had launched eight OneDay Health Centres, but we had much bigger dreams. At that time they gave us the biggest grant we had received, which helped us start launching health centres in two whole new regions of Northern Uganda,” said Oneday Health co-founder, Kiwi-born Nick Laing.

Another All Good Ventures supported social enterprise is Restore Enterprises. This Australian-based business launched just last year and aims to employ people with disabilities, injuries and mental illness to manufacture and restore furniture for sale. The goal is to nurture their employment skills in a secure environment, and later see them move into permanent work with other employers.

“The support provided by All Good Ventures - both financial and business-related - has been pivotal to us launching and to how far we have come since. We would recommend them to any emerging social enterprise, even if you're only at the very early concept stage,” said Restore Enterprises Co-founder, Seath Holswich.

Remarkably, since the Claycombs started All Good Ventures three years ago it has been financed mostly through all annual profits from Heather’s public relations business HMC, now a social enterprise itself, and personal donations from the founders plus a few friends and family.

In a recent effort to secure the charity’s funding stream well into the future, Heather and Rod started the All Good Ventures named fund, which sits within Momentum Waikato’s group of regional endowment funds and was made public this month. Driven by Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr, Momentum’s investment program is providing excellent ongoing returns for a variety of Waikato community entities and projects.

“This is a very exciting step for All Good Ventures. Via this newly established fund, anyone can make a donation or leave a bequest which will be wisely invested to generate ongoing returns for All Good Ventures. This means All Good Ventures can support social entrepreneurs in perpetuity for many generations to come,” Rod said.

Momentum chief executive Kelvyn Eglinton describes a named fund with Momentum Waikato as an effective way for local for-purpose organisations to secure greater investment income, as they benefit from the scale and diversity of the regional endowment fund in Momentum’s care.

“Many small to medium for-purpose organisations, have their capital sitting in the bank providing minimal interest,” says Kelvyn. “It makes sense for such entities to put that money into Momentum’s regional endowment fund, like All Good Ventures has, as its scale and the expertise of our investment partners Craigs and Forsyth Barr ensure much greater returns, providing a meaningful and sustainable income stream and/or capital growth.  

Anyone can give to the All Good Ventures Fund via momentumwaikato.nz/donate. Donations small and large, ongoing and one-off, are all welcome and celebrated.

All Good Ventures will accept applications from social entrepreneurs worldwide next month during its annual application round, open 1-31 March.