TEAM FOCUS: TĀ KOHA - Lightning Lab
Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2018 tā koha


PledgeMe gave New Zealand entrepreneurs and projects a NZ-based crowdfunding platform, empowering them to make projects they believe in and be part of a bigger cause. PledgeMe has now teamed up with Māori Women’s Development Inc to co-create a new platform: Tā Koha.


So, what is Tā Koha working on?

Tā Koha is helping Māori entrepreneurs to embrace crowdfunding as a way to grow their business. This came about after PledgeMe noticed that not many Māori-led businesses come through our platform. We asked ourselves why and realised it was because little thought had gone into aligning PledgeMe’s kaupapa with the kaupapa of indigenous communities and entrepreneurs. And now, PledgeMe has teamed up with Māori Women’s Development Inc to co-create a solution to this problem: Tā Koha.

Why is it important?

Tā Koha is democratising access to capital for Māori. This is an important difference in providing a platform that anyone can access. Tā Koha is being developed specifically to meet the needs and cultural lens of Maori entrepreneurs. For example, we are shaping our education programme to address the key challenges highlighted in the wānanga (workshops) we have run for Māori entrepreneurs. As well as this, we are incorporating the inclusion of whānau during the funding journey. And we are also exploring tech solutions that will allow pledgers to give koha (in-kind support) in addition to money.

Our underlying motivation for tailoring the way we take Māori entrepreneurs through crowdfunding? We believe diverse companies and founders support stronger communities. That’s true equity in action.

What are you looking forward to during KFA?

We’ve had some great highlights already; at the start of the programme we hit the road and connected with Māori entrepreneurs from Whangarei to Otautahi. These hikoi gave us valuable insight into the needs of our crowd. We are now looking forward to our Tā Koha hui. On 12 and 13 May, we are bringing together ten ‘early adopters’ who will go through the first iteration of our education programme to get crowdfunding-ready. Right around the corner, after the hui, is Demo Day; so our stories and learnings from the hui will be hot off the press!

What are you aiming for?

We are working hard to have our ten campaigners launch on Tā Koha by mid-June. This means having the Tā Koha platform up and running, an activated and excited crowd, and ripples being made in the way indigenous entrepreneurs look for and secure funding.


Discover more about the Tā Koha journey and their Campaigners by signing up to their newsletter here.

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