May 13, 2019
Issue 05 2019

Small businesses encouraged to take part in Zero Carbon Challenge

The Zero Carbon Challenge is open again this year to help start-up small businesses wanting to help decrease Wellington’s carbon emissions.  

The challenge aims to create sustainable and thriving businesses across different industries.

Wellington City’s current net carbon emissions are sitting on 1.1 million tonnes of carbon per year.

According to the council’s Te Atakura – First to Zero blueprint, Wellington needs to cut its emissions in half over the next 11 years, with the goal of becoming carbon free in 2050.

Wā Collective developed sustainable and affordable menstrual cups after taking part in 2017’s Low Carbon challenge, as it was then called.

Founder Olie Body said the challenge gave her and her team the practical skills to set up a thriving business.

“We all learned so much, the programme gave us mentors and also a practical structure with deadlines to be working towards. It taught us skills around marketing and the importance of validating what we were doing.

“I’d just finished uni at that point, but people of all ages were participating in the challenge, all working towards similar goals. It was just heaps of fun as well.”

Body is excited to be taking part in the challenge as a mentor this year.

“To anyone thinking of applying, I’d say just go for it! You’ll learn so much and have heaps of fun,” she said.

An eight-week programme of training and workshops in June and July 2019 will have small start-up businesses ready to launch their own campaigns for funding through PledgeMe, a crowdfunding platform.

The challenge is sponsored by the Wellington City Council and Callaghan Innovation.

It will launch on May 8 at the BNZ Partners Centre on Victoria St.

Applications are now open at  and close at midnight on May 19.