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Journey of Tairāwhiti Social Entrepreneurs Continues

News Release

17 October 2016

Journey of Tairāwhiti Social Entrepreneurs Continues

Ideas are coming together and business models are being developed and tested in the lead up to the final stages of the Thrive Tairāwhiti programme.

Thrive Tairāwhiti is a partnership between Ākina Foundation and Eastland Community Trust, supported by NZ Post and Kiwibank, to facilitate 14 local social entrepreneurs on a journey of discovery around social enterprise: purpose-driven organisations trading to fulfill social or environmental goals.

Through workshops and peer learning, the participants have been learning about social enterprise, how to start one up, and developing their leadership and business skills. They have also connected with a group of supporters including representatives from local capacity-building organisations such as Te Puni Kōkiri and Māori Women’s Development Inc., as well as individual community leaders and change-makers.

Lead facilitator and venture manager at Ākina Foundation, Emily Preston, said the first set of workshops were held in Gisborne in July with the second in Tolaga Bay in September. The final workshops this week are in Gisborne (17-18 October).

“We have purposefully hosted these workshops in Gisborne and up the coast. It can feel like an isolating task getting a new venture up and running, especially for those based in smaller communities, but we already know this group have found allies in each other”, she said.

“The Thrive cohort all share the same values – they care deeply about their community and are motivated by a social or environmental purpose and want to use business practices to achieve their vision."

The next set of workshops in the Thrive Tairāwhiti programme will focus on further developing the group’s enterprise skills, as well as team building for social enterprise. Ms Preston said that bringing colleagues, friends and whanau along on the journey can be a vital component of a social entrepreneur’s success.

The Thrive Tairāwhiti programme will conclude with a community expo day on 24 November in Gisborne.

“The expo will be an opportunity for the Thrive cohort to share their progress and social enterprise ideas with their whanau and community. It will be a celebration and an occasion for the participants to ask for help from others as they continue on their social enterprise journey,” Ms Preston said.

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.

Find out more about the programme at www.akina.org.nz/tairawhiti.


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