Entrepreneurs with social objectives in mind no longer have to choose between founding a revenue-generating business and starting a non-profit. These days, social enterprises bridge the gap between the two, allowing business leaders to both pursue the greater good and build profitable enterprises.
Kiwis have been especially active in the social enterprise scene, tapping into social media and other technologies to further their causes. Here’s a rundown of the top 9 social enterprises in New Zealand you need to be aware of in 2017 and beyond.
It’s been recommended that children aged as early as three develop their fine locomotor skills. Bikes in Schools’ aim is to help kids build their self-esteem and confidence through bicycle riding. The social enterprise provides a comprehensive bike package that includes both equipment and the proper training grounds.
Chalkle’s offering brings a myriad of classes and learning events to the community at large, from short/weekend courses to ongoing community classes in personal/professional development. Through its network of partners and collaborators, the company aims to support and enhance learning and teaching in the community.
Ooooby’s food box delivery platform makes healthy food accessible to local communities by putting local, small-scale sustainable farming back at the heart of the food system. The company sources local, organic vegetables/products for weekly home delivery to its customers.
Lovenotes focuses on transforming one-sided waste paper into attractive stationary—greeting cards, notebooks, and more. Users simply place their discarded paper into the provided collection box; when full, the box is picked up and delivered back as stationary the following week.
The Be. Institute aims to make New Zealand the leading country in the world when it comes to accessibility. The company features a comprehensive database of accessible places searchable by venue/place type, city, and needs.
Curative is a creative agency that specializes in helping socially-minded organisations with their branding efforts. It offers a range of services, from brand development, web design, and digital communications to print design and digital storytelling.
Auckland-based The Pallet Kingdom’s goal is two-fold: to reduce the amount of pallet timber ending up in landfills, and to provide positive support and training to disadvantaged youth. The result is a unique line of attractive, bespoke furniture and art.
Conscious Consumers’ web and mobile app allows users to find socially-conscious businesses nearby—purchases are then rewarded with special vouchers and discounts. Businesses are inspired to align their efforts with the greater good, while at the same time accessing a powerful digital platform for customer insights, spend monitoring, and marketing automation.
Severe physical disabilities like cerebral palsy or motor-neuron disease effects over 6 million people worldwide, rendering them unable to speak or move. Thought-Wired is developing a brain-sensing technology called nous that allows people with speech-impacting physical disabilities to connect and convey with their surroundings.
In short, pursuing the greater good and building a sustainable business are no longer mutually exclusive—and these 9 social enterprises from New Zealand are proof positive of this; be sure to keep them on your radar in 2017 and beyond.