Social Enterprise collaboration gets online showcase

Social Enterprise collaboration gets online showcase

The Social Enterprise Auckland collaboration has recently launched a new website to showcase its work.

The partnership is between Auckland Council, the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) and the Akina Foundation.

Auckland Council advisor Billy Matheson says it made sense for them to work together as they are significant players in Auckland working to support specific social enterprises.

“Social Enterprise Auckland (SEA) is a collaboration between three organisations that have an interest in promoting social enterprise in Auckland and that’s the job of the website and the brand,” he says. “With the online technologies and what we have learned about branding and marketing you can put these things together fairly cheaply.

“It’s just a simple way to showcase what we’re about and have a calendar for people to get involved in the movement."

SBN focuses on social enterprise that enables the use of renewable energy, while Akina (previously the Hikurangi Foundation) supports social enterprise that focuses on social and environmental challenges and helps new potential markets for businesses it looks to invest in.

Earlier this year, Ākina was granted $1,270,000 by the government; its first financial support of social enterprise in New Zealand, according to the SEA website.

“Government tends to feel it has two choices when it comes to looking for people to fund or people to contract – and that’s the community not-for-profit sector and the business private sector,” says Matheson.

“What Social Enterprise Auckland and what other social enterprise organisations are saying is you have got another option. You’ve got the dynamism and scale of the private sector and you’ve got the compassion and relationship of the not-for- profit sector coming together.

“Hopefully that’s an attractive proposition when Auckland Council or central government are looking for people to purchase services from or to design and deliver social services from."

Ākina Foundation will be holding workshops from June to December on business modelling, pitching business ideas, and team sessions.

Matheson says Ākina’s funding for such projects “means the work SBN and the Council are doing can feed into the capacity the Ākina Foundation now has".

“Hopefully we will get viable social enterprises coming out of that process that are ready for investment so that the existing financial systems that are in place to support business will also be able to recognise and support those ventures.”

Matheson will be at the Social Enterprise Foundation Course on August 6 to October 1, hosted by AUT Business School. The course will introduce attendees to principles and practices of social entrepreneurship.