22 July 2016
Thrive Tairāwhiti Social Enterprise Opportunity to Kick-Off
People with social enterprise ideas in the Gisborne region will be starting their journey on Tuesday, as part of a programme called Thrive Tairāwhiti.
Thrive Tairāwhiti is a four-month development programme for 15 people interested in starting a social enterprise: a purpose-driven organisation that trades to fulfill social or environmental goals. Thrive Tairāwhiti is being delivered via a partnership between Ākina Foundation and Eastland Community Trust, supported by New Zealand Post and Kiwibank.
Ākina venture manager Emily Preston said they received a high level of interest from people keen to be involved with or support the programme. Ākina received 27 applications from community leaders and aspring social entrepreneurs wanting to be participants of the programme.
“The quality of applicants was really high – it was difficult to choose just 15 participants – but it does demonstrate demand for social enterprise support.”
Ms Preston said the participants came from throughout Tairāwhiti, including from Gisborne, Ruatoria and Te Araroa. Their ideas for social enterprise span employment generation, waste reduction and supporting the environment.
Ākina had run a similar Thrive programme in partnership with the Far North District Council last year, and with Te Tihi o Ruahine, a Whānau Ora provider, in the Manawatū earlier this year.
“Social enterprise offers a way to deal to the problems we face through a sustainable business model – it’s a hybrid between business and charity – and our experience is that Thrive participants come with great ideas,” she said.
Ākina will be working alongside other local support agencies to bring the best of local knowledge, networks and capacity building with expertise in social enterprise support to create a vibrant environment for social enterprise. Ms Preston said New Zealand Post and Kiwibank’s support meant Ākina could work alongside local partners to develop social enterprise hubs and deliver capability building support.
Ms Preston said the Thrive Tairāwhiti programme was for people with the ambition to create a social enterprise that aimed to address a specific social or environmental problem. This included whānau, hapū and iwi members, local business leaders and community leaders who wished to leverage business to achieve positive outcomes for their community.
“Social enterprise is business for good – it’s business with a social purpose at its heart. Partnering with Eastland Community Trust makes sense because we can use the power of business to bring about sustainable social change,” she said.
The partners were still seeking support from people who could provide mentoring, coaching or practical support in specialist areas to the participants.
The Thrive programme was starting on Monday (25 July) with the first meeting of the Social Enterprise Supporters, who will support the participants in their journey in the programme, and then the Thrive participants would kick-off with the first of their three two-day workshops on 26-27 July.
Find out more about the programme at www.akina.org.nz/tairawhiti.