Launch! Social Enterprise Auckland

28 June 2016

More and more businesses are being set up or reconfigured to focus on improving our society.

The Sustainable Business Network has joined forces with Auckland Council and Ākina Foundation to support this movement in New Zealand’s largest city.

Social enterprises looking for inspiration, information and representation have a major new resource, with the launch of Social Enterprise Auckland.

“It’s our aspiration that Social Enterprise Auckland becomes a hub, empowering social enterprises to amplify their social impact and address social and environmental issues,” says Board Chair Tricia Fitzgerald.

The project began in 2012. Auckland Council gathered together a group of practitioners, training providers and academics to consider and advise the council on how to best support the development of social enterprise. A fluctuating group of volunteers has worked together since then to put on events and share information. In 2015, the volunteer group decided to get more serious about creating an environment in which social enterprise is just a normal way of doing business. They wanted to develop a vehicle for social enterprises and their supporters to lead this effort. The new collaborative member based organisation, created as an Incorporated Society, is the result.

“In the UK, this is in full-swing,” says Tricia Fitzgerald. “Over there, more than 70,000 social enterprises contribute £55bn to the UK economy. Social enterprise adds another string to the bow of business practices, enabling greater positive social and environmental impacts as a normal way of doing business.”

The organisation kicks off on July 9 with an inaugural half-day summit entitled Beyond Purpose: Making Money Count at The University of Auckland’s Owen G Glenn building.

Participants will help to establish the mandate for Social Enterprise Auckland. They will hear first-hand from funders about what makes a strong application for support. And they will have the chance to connect with social entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital and scaled up. The event will include a workshop with the Ākina Foundation, presentations and sessions with some of New Zealand’s leading social entrepreneurs and funders. It will also feature international case studies presented by world-leading changemakers. Book now to be part of it.

Sam McGlennon, SBN community project lead, said: “Social enterprise is founded on some really great aspirations, such as using the strengths of businesses to better foster and spark positive outcomes in our communities. It’s great to see this organisation being launched, because New Zealand really has a lot of ground to make up in understanding, supporting and empowering its social enterprises. Social Enterprise Auckland looks set to make an important contribution to this nationwide movement.”

Social Enterprise Auckland will provide:

  • Information
    • up-to-date information on social enterprise development
    • workshops and events to introduce newcomers to the world of social enterprise.
  • Connection
    • access to support and training services
    • access to networks between social enterprises, and between social enterprises and other potential partners
  • A public voice on matters that are important to our members.
    • promoting the many benefits that social enterprises bring to local communities, businesses, local and central government, charities and the environment