The global pandemic has opened our eyes to the change that needs to take place in our world, and we’re looking for the changemakers who want to use business as a force for good, and start something new.

Applications for Cohort 2 are NOW OPEN – apply today! Application deadline: 14 June.








What is it?

Back to Purpose is an Entrepreneurship Programme for Impact-Driven Entrepreneurs in New Zealand. It is a 10-week programme taking place twice in 2021.

Through the programme we look forward to upskilling, inspiring and connecting a new wave of changemakers in Aotearoa.

Who is it for?

We are looking for motivated candidates who:
1. are interested in creating and testing their own business idea;
2. and/or want to join a team with fellow participants;
3. want to be connected to the vibrant Kiwi startup scene.

Candidates do not have to have a clear idea nor do they have to have previous experience in business or entrepreneurship to enter the programme, though a healthy dose of motivation and drive will be required! The programme will run in two cohorts of max. 30 candidates from the North Island, with occasional physical meetings in Hamilton.

Good to know: You do not need to live in the Waikato to apply. The programme is open to participants from across the North Island. We just ask that you are able to attend some key in-person workshops in Hamilton (see time commitment). Candidates of all ages and backgrounds/fields of study are welcome to apply.


What’s the focus?

Our programme is designed to inspire and enable people looking to create and test a new business idea or join a team of like-minded entrepreneurial thinkers.  

By the end of the programme, you can expect to be equipped with the tools and mindset required to start your own business. You will also be connected to a vibrant community of entrepreneurs and startups along the way.

Applications for Cohort 2 are NOW OPEN – apply today!

Who is behind the programme?

Back to Purpose is a bespoke entrepreneurship programme by Impact Hub Waikato. Impact Hub Waikato is part of a global community focused on building entrepreneurial communities for impact at scale. There are 101+ national and city-based Impact Hubs in operation world-wide, with over 17,000 members. Back to Purpose is supported by the MBIE Workers and Workplace Assistance Fund.

What is the time commitment?

The 10-week programme will run in two cohorts in 2021:
Cohort 1: 25 March - 26 May
Cohort 2: 24 June - 1 September

The programme will kick off with a 2-day physical workshop in Hamilton. After the first week, participants can expect to invest 5 hours per week in the programme. This includes:
- weekly 1.5-2 hr workshops (online, Wednesday evenings);
- weekly 1hr Q&A sessions (online, midday Monday);
- 1:1 coaching calls and self-study.

Each cohort will end with a physical half-day event in Hamilton, where participants will have the opportunity to pitch their business idea and network with entrepreneurs, startups, investors, community partners and more. Participants are expected to attend 80% of the programme to be eligible to pitch.

What topics will be covered?

We will cover a range of topics relevant to creating and testing a business idea and setting up a purpose-led startup . Some examples include: Design Thinking, Business Modelling & Validation, Legal Fundamentals, Impact Measurement, Customer Discovery and Marketing Strategies. These topics will be delivered by experts in the field.

Developing an entrepreneurial mindset and knowing yourself is also key to everyone’s entrepreneurial journey. For that reason, we also include discussions on what it means to have an Entrepreneurial Mindset and some key differences between being an entrepreneur vs an employee.

How is this different from university?

At Back to Purpose, we do not host workshops where you sit down, listen and leave. We focus on action! Our expert-led workshops are designed to be interactive and practical, so that you have something to work on after every session. You will have key deliverables to work towards and you will pitch your business idea to an audience at the end of the programme.

Furthermore, we bring in entrepreneurs from the impact sector to both lead workshops and share their personal stories and advice. There is also the opportunity to network and potentially join inspiring impact enterprises at the end of the programme as a volunteer or team member.

Alongside cohort-based activities like the capacity-building workshops, you will also receive 1:1 business coaching and mindset coaching from our team, so that you get the individual support you need to flourish and succeed.


How can I apply?

Applications for the second cohort of the Back to Purpose programme are NOW OPEN and you can apply here. Candidates will be asked to share their personal and contact details as well as their motivation for joining the programme. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted directly.

Application deadline for Cohort 2 is 14 June.

Expressions of interest and requests for more information are welcome via the form below.

How much does it cost to participate?

The 10-week programme costs NZD 450.00- for waged participants or NZD 250.00- for students / non-waged participants. It is also possible to pay in instalments. Please contact the Impact Hub team if this would be a barrier to your participation in the programme.

Free Impact Hub Membership included

Successful participants will receive a free 6-month membership to Impact Hub Waikato and benefit from discounts for workshops, events, programmes as well as coworking options at our Inspiring Space in Hamilton.

Have a question or need further information?

Questions, expressions of interest and requests for more information are welcome - click here to get in touch!