Social finance and social enterprise
About social finance and social enterprise
Social enterprises mix social and/or environmental aims with a commercial orientation. In the context of a tightened economy and many social and environmental challenges, social enterprises have a valuable role to play through providing innovative approaches.
Social finance is about innovative funding that moves beyond traditional grants and contracts. Social lending is one form of social finance that is in an early stage of development in New Zealand.
Other innovative approaches, such as social impact bonds, require careful consideration. The Department's work seeks to understand the social enterprise environment and the supply of, and demand for, social finance in New Zealand.
Recent and historical developments
A meeting with Dr Jim Robinson of the Social Investment and Finance Team in the UK Cabinet Office
The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector hosted a meeting of officials with Dr Jim Robinson of the Social Investment and Finance Team in the UK Cabinet Office. Jim heads up work on Social Impact Bonds and has previously had a key role in developing the UK Government's over-arching strategy for growing the social investment market outlined in a February 2011 strategy document. For more information please visit the UK cabinet office website.
A meeting with Peter Holbrook of Social Enterprise UK
Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, at a meeting on Thursday 26 April in Wellington (hosted by the Department of Internal Affairs), shared how social enterprise models will let communities stay ahead of the curve. More information about this.
The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector held a meeting about current research projects on social enterprise and social finance on 24 February.
The purpose of the meeting was to share information and build synergies and collaboration to create the best possible results for social enterprises; avoid overlaps of effort and resources, and reduce likelihood of social enterprises/investors being approached by multiple researchers; and improve advice to Ministers on activities in this space. Presentations:
- Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector: Examining Social Enterprise Potential in NZ (PPT, 547KB)
- Community Economic Development Network: Community Economic Development - Understanding the NZ Context
- Charities Commission: Encouraging collaboration between business and charities in New Zealand (PPT, 1.1M)
- Bank of New Zealand: Researching gaps in mainstream banking for social enterprises
- Office for Ethnic Affairs: Ethnic Communities and Social Enterprise: unleashing the power of innovation (PPT, 3MB)
- Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs: Promoting profitable and sustainable social enterprise among Pacific organisations
- Massey University: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre: Overview of SIERC research (PPT, 1,019KB)
- Ministry of Culture and Heritage: Examining alternative funding models for the cultural and sport sectors
A meeting with Charlotte Young of the United Kingdom's School for Social Entrepreneurs.
The Office of the Community and Voluntary Sector and the Office of Ethnic Affairs, along with the British Council, hosted a meeting with Charlotte Young of the United Kingdom's School for Social Entrepreneurs on 3 February.
This meeting was part of our agencies' ongoing work on social enterprise, and engagement with the social enterprise sector in New Zealand and abroad.
Charlotte Young is a founding member of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, where she ran the school's programmes for the first two years, and is now the Chair of Trustees. In 2009, Charlotte was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion, which recognises those involved in social enterprise, business development, and those who work in education, training or youth work. Charlotte has a deep interest in how social enterprise can create a healthy society.
She spoke about the state of the social enterprise sector in the United Kingdom, the history of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and the future of this sector. More information about the School for Social Entrepreneurs can be found here: http://www.sse.org.uk/index.php
Mark Daniels, Manager Learning and Development, Social Traders, gave a presentation on social enterprise and government, and Clara Miller visited New Zealand to discuss social finance, investing in social impact and unleashing productive capability.
Barry Zigas, of Zigas and Associates LLC, United States of America, gave a presentation hosted by the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector in Wellington. He spoke about the scale and scope of US social investment organisations and challenges facing the sector in the wake of the credit bust.
The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector commissioned a report into the potential for introducing social impact bonds in New Zealand. Social impact bonds, which are being trialled in several countries, raise money from investors to fund delivery of preventative social services. If the social outcomes are convincingly achieved, the government pays the investors back the money they contributed and adds a success payment.
A second Community Economic Development Conference featured a host of leading practitioners from New Zealand and overseas. Hon Tariana Turia, Minister of the Community and Voluntary Sector, was a guest speaker at this event.
Laura Benedict's seven-month Ian Axford fellowship culminated with her report Social Lending: A Tool for Grantmakers, an Opportunity for Communities. Laura presented her report findings at the Institute of Public Administration of New Zealand (IPANZ) in Wellington on 20 August and ComVoices Parliamentary Breakfast on 24 August.
June 2010 and September 2010
The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector hosted two meetings with social lending experts to share information and discuss ways to strengthen social lending in New Zealand.
More than 300 people attended a Community Economic Development Conference in Waitakere City featuring several overseas experts on social enterprise and social lending.
US expert Laura Benedict began a research project exploring ways that lending can support social goals in New Zealand. Laura's seven-month co-placement with the Office for the Community & Voluntary Sector and Philanthropy New Zealand was part of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy programme administered by Fulbright New Zealand.
The ASB Community Trust and the Tindall Foundation published a comprehensive report by Glen Saunders that describes what social enterprises are and explores what has been happening with social lending and investment in NZ. Further information is available from the ASB Community Trust: