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Social enterprise – where profits and social impact go hand in hand

Social enterprise – where profits and social impact go hand in hand

  • 16 Jun 2019
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On June 18, a wide-range of innovators, thinkers and policy makers will come together for the inaugural New Dawn: Pacific Social Enterprise Forum, in Auckland.

Social enterprises are illuminating new ways of doing business where profits and social impact go hand in hand.

In today’s business landscape, Pacific business owners and entrepreneurs with a “heart to make a difference” can leverage the social enterprise movement to maximise what they are doing.

This business model places the well-being of family, community and society at the centre of its mission; and the enterprises are not only driven by financial profits, but by social, environmental and cultural impact as well.

Hosted by Pacific Business Trust (PBT), the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), the one-day event at Vodafone Events Centre will consist of a breakfast for 100 young and enterprising individuals with government representatives; plus guest speakers speaking about various aspects of social enterprise. 

Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio and Minister for Social Development Hon. Carmel Sepuloni are headlining the guest speaker line-up.

Minister Sio says those businesses practicing social enterprise are changing the way people think and consume, so the money they spend, and the profits they make have a social impact too.

He adds they all share a vision of business as a force for good – a vision of profit as an enabler of change – which makes the social enterprises they represent inspiring and powerful.

The Summit is an example of the second goal of Lalanga Fou - Prosperous Pacific Communities and encouraging more successful and sustainable Pacific entrepreneurs and Pacific-owned businesses.

During MPP’s engagement with wider Pacific communities, Pacific communities stressed the need to support and encourage Pacific peoples to enter different fields of employment where the potential exists to earn a higher income - not necessarily as employees but as entrepreneurs and business owners. Find out more at Pacific Aotearoa.

The Summit has come into existence after PBT realised just how significant the number of Pacific enterprises with a social and/or cultural focus were.

Pacific Business Trust completed research initiatives in 2018, to shed some light on existing and potential Pacific social enterprise.

Firstly, the joint Pacific Economy research with the Treasury and secondly The Social Enterprise Research: A study of current literature and practice.

Blindingly obvious from both these research initiatives was Pacific people invest hugely into community efforts as can be seen by the significant amount of voluntary hours per capita and the significant number of enterprises with a social outcome focus.

Other areas which became apparent is there is a lack of Pacific Voice and identity in the shaping of New Zealand social enterprise landscape; and a need to hear the Pacific understanding of what challenges face the emergence and growth of social enterprise among Pacific communities, and how to turn those challenges into opportunities.

Representation; value; and leadership are other areas of focus to be explored more, which talanoa at the Summit aims to do.

Other guest speakers taking part in the Summit include Tara Singh of Nexus; Hélène Malandain of The Ākina Foundation; Emeline and Alipate Mafile’o of Affirming Works and Tupuanga Coffee; Mau Studio’s Tuputau LeLaulu; and Jacinta Fa’alili Fidow of Moana Research, to name a few.