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Christchurch to be the Heart of Good Business

Christchurch to be the Heart of Good Business


NewZealand Aotearoa delegation singing a waiata (song) at Hong Kong handover ceremony; Photo credit: Adam Finlayson

Starts

The world renowned Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) in Christchurch next year is set to be a huge milestone in the journey of New Zealand’s social enterprise sector.

Minister Jo Goodhew, who led the New Zealand delegation to the event this year in Hong Kong, announced the theme for 2017, calling it “Ka koroki te manu – Creating our tomorrow”. Derived from a traditional Maori prayer about the birdsongs of the morning chorus, the theme refers to welcome call to the challenges and beauty of a new tomorrow.

Social enterprises are purpose-driven organisations, like charities, but who use business models to generate revenue and deliver social and environmental impact.

The Ākina Foundation is the host organisation for SEWF 2017. Ākina supports the development of social enterprise as a vehicle to bring about lasting social change. Chief Executive Alex Hannant believes that bringing the forum to Christchurch will be catalytic in helping New Zealand think more strategically about how we want to build our sector in the future.

“Hosting the SEWF in New Zealand in 2017 is an opportunity to further accelerate the development of our emerging social enterprise sector. It will give us exposure to the best international practice and strengthen relationships with the global movement. It also gives us a target to work towards in developing a cohesive and ambitious national strategy for the sector,” said Mr Hannant.

Social enterprises in New Zealand are growing rapidly, in scale and sophistication. Last week only, Thought-Wired, a social enterprise venture that was mentored and launched during the 2015 Ākina Launchpad programme, raised NZ$250,000 through equity crowd-funding on PledgeMe. Thought-wired have developed technology to help people who cannot move or speak because of severe physical disabilities. After several rounds of product development, the seed-funding will be used for growth and to reach the people who need it.

The theme for SEWF 2017 is about innovation, positive transformation and the opportunity to create a more equal, sustainable tomorrow. Christchurch is the natural choice as a host city for SEWF 2017. Since the 2011 earthquakes, the city has has become an international model of community resilience and innovation. It provides a fertile learning environment and a place to discuss new solutions to current global problems.

Christchurch City Councillor Raf Manji says Christchurch is focused on putting the social back into enterprise and looks forward to being a showcase for the latest ideas and developments in social enterprise.

Around 1200 international delegates are expected to attend and the SEWF will be innovative in design and cater to all interests and levels of knowledge. For more information, visit www.sewf2017.org.

Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 is being held in partnership with SAP along with Kiwibank, New Zealand Post, Clemenger BBDO and Russell McVeagh.

ENDS

Each year the SEWF examines the conditions needed for social enterprises to thrive, highlighting outstanding examples of innovation and best practice from around the world. The forum provides an opportunity to discuss how social enterprises can develop in the face of changing world and local markets, and in the context of various levels of government engagement, emerging with shared actions to improve sustainability and increase social impact.


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