CED Bulletin – May 2012

On May 9, 2012

Hello CED practitioners and supporters,

Over the last month it has been heating up on the social enterprise and social innovation front. It’s great to see that organisations from various sectors are bringing inspirational international speakers to our shores. They include… The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services brought Nic Francis, leading UK social entrepreneur and the author of The End of Charity, to speak at the Future Wellbeing Conference.

Also in March, Canadian Nicole Foss, international speaker on finance, energy, resilience and  environment  issues, that have been key drivers in the Transition Town Movement, was in New Zealand  and was interviewed on Kim Hill. Check it out here

The New Zealand Social and Civic Policy Institute and ANGOA brought Lindsay Driscoll, a charity law and governance expert from the UK, to talk about social Investment, the law and the Community Interest Company (CIC), the UK social enterprise specific legal entity. Check out CIC Association.

On the academic front,  Assistant Professor Mary Lee Rhodes from Trinity College, Dublin lectured at the University of Auckland Business School  about the emergence  of “hybrid” organisations, social impact and social return on investment (SROI), and a new approach to measuring social progress, referred to as moving ‘beyond GDP’.

And at Massey University, the NZ Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Centre hosted distinguished academic in the field of social innovation and social entrepreneurship, Dr Alex Nicholls who was the first lecturer in social entrepreneurship appointed at the University of Oxford, UK.

 

Peter Holbrook

CEO of Social Enterprise UK

And to top things off, this week, The British Council brought Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK to our shores, in conjunction with the NZ Centre for Social Innovation and the Office of Ethnic Affairs. I heard Peter speak in Auckland and am still feeling inspired. Some of the highlights were:

  • Affirmation that jobs and employment are the most effective way of bringing people out of poverty– and that social enterprise can play a significant role in providing many of these jobs.
  • The importance of social procurement to enable organisations that purchase services to add social value to their procurement processes.  In the UK this is now covered under legislation! In February 2012, the UK introduced the Public Services Value Act that requires all public sector commissioning to factor in social value. This was inspired by a recommendation in Social Enterprise UK's 2010 election manifesto and something the social enterprise sector has long campaigned for. This is what can be achieved through a national network that brings a cohesive voice to advance the needs of the social enterprise sector
  • Corporate Social responsibility (CSR ) as an “add on” to business as usual  is yesterdays' news – and Peter thinks that that in future all business  will seek to  incorporate social value at the  heart of the organisation
  • Big Society Capital is a 600 million pound social loan fundthat has been established in the UK from unclaimed money in dormant bank accounts. I wonder if we could do something similar in New Zealand?
  • Social impact bonds are working in the UK for a social enterprise that employs ex-offenders and has reduced the re-offending rate from 80% to 15%. The enterprise receives a share of the government savings in return
  • Fightback Britain, a national report on the social enterprise sector shows that the social enterprise sector in the UK is dynamic, attracting entrepreneurs, working in the UK’s most deprived communities to tackle the root causes of deprivation and, as a sector, is both out-pacing and out-innovating comparable SMEs.

A Social Enterprise Network

for New Zealand

Peter Holbrook’s visit confirmed for many of us that the time is ripe for a Social Enterprise Network to be established in New Zealand. My experience is that a network – whether it is called CED (as in Canada); Social Entrepreneurs (Scotland);  Social Enterprise (England) or Social Traders (Australia) has a crucial role to play in connecting the players, growing expertise, advocating for the social economy to potential partners and investors and providing a cohesive voice for the social enterprise sector. The Community Economic Development NZ Network was established as an outcome of the CED Conferences that were held in 2010 and 2011, but it has been challenging to find the financial support needed to develop the network.  In response,  a committed group of community leaders and other stakeholders from around the country have been meeting to explore possibilities.   Sub groups are currently meeting to develop key messages and determine the nature of a financially sustainable vehicle that can grow the social enterprise movement. Some of us were fortunate to gain invaluable advice as to how to move forward on this initiative from Peter Holbrook while he was here, so watch this space….

 

CED research

will determine success factors and challenges

I have been working on a literature review for the CED Research project that has been funded by the Lotteries Research Fund, with supervisory support from UNITEC. The research, “Understanding CED in the New Zealand Context”, will involve focus groups and one to one interviews with social enterprise practitioners around the country to ascertain what the success factors and challenges are for social enterprise in New Zealand at this time. I was privileged to access a two day mentoring session with Australian researcher, Ingrid Burkett, to develop the research.  Ingrid has spoken at both of the CED Conferences to date, and has authored a number of reports on both social enterprise and social procurement including Social Procurement in Australia.

We had some illuminating conversations about social enterprise profit distribution and the sometimes contentious asset lock (that requires that both profits and assets are retained for community benefit and social impact -not distributed to individual shareholders).  It is a really important mechanism that distinguishes social enterprise from business as usual.  However, there are times when profits are distributed to community shareholders (through a community shares offer) or employees in the case of employee owned cooperatives).  I think that the fundamental question to ask is who is benefiting from the profits?If the profit provides community benefit and/or addresses inequality, then for me, it sits within the broad definition of social enterprise.

 

OCVS research

will map extent of social enterprise

Over the next 12 months, the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS) is carrying out a mapping exercise to determine the extent of the social enterprise sector.During June and July 2012, a survey will be circulated that aims to ‘map’ the social enterprise sector in New Zealand. The findings will paint a picture of the range of social enterprises and will help build understanding of the social enterprise environment. The survey questions will include: What industries social enterprises are found in? What activities they are undertaking? How these activities relate to the core mission of the social enterprise? The survey will largely follow the definitions and methodology used in the Finding Australia/s Social Enterprise Sector (FASES) research, published by Social Traders in July 2010.

The results of the survey will be published by the Department of Internal Affairs in the later part of 2012, and will be useful for social enterprise practitioners and others interested in social enterprise development in New Zealand. These results will also inform policy discussion about the most appropriate role for government in supporting social enterprise development in New Zealand.OCVS would appreciate it if you would keep an eye out for the survey going into the field in June, and distribute it amongst your networks – the more responses the survey gets, the clearer picture we will have on the current contribution of social enterprise to New Zealand’s society and economy. If you’re keen to help distribute the survey, please e-mail james.king@dia.govt.nz

 

Social Enterprise Institute

Opens in Christchurch

The Social Enterprise Institute starts in Christchurch on Friday 4 May, with an initial intake of 10 students from community organisations and social enterprises. The Social Enterprise Institute (SEI) is being established by social enterprise practitioner and CEDNZ Trustee, Lindsay Jeffs, to identify, support and encourage New Zealand’s not-for-profit sector to explore social enterprise opportunities to create wealth.

Auckland SEI classes will start on 21 June, and will run one day per week over a 20 week period. There are still a few places left for this intake and partial scholarships may be available. The course involves a commitment of one day a week for a period of 20 weeks.  For further information and to enrol, click here or email lindsay@csbec.org.nz or phone 0274351732.

 

Social enterprise to address poverty

Sanjit "Bunker" Roy is a key speaker at the Adult and Community Education Conference that is coming up on 27-29 June.  Sanjit “Bunker” Roy has been a leading figure in the Indian NGO community for the past thirty years and has nurtured a grass-roots social entrepreneurship that is redefining the way the world thinks about fighting poverty. His Barefoot College has trained more than three million people for jobs in the modern world using a unique bottom-up approach. The college's "barefoot professionals" then return home to use their new skills — as solar engineers, teachers, midwives, weavers, doctors and more. Bunker combines humanitarianism, entrepreneurship and education to help people steer their own path out of poverty, fostering dignity and self-determination along the way. In April 2010, Bunker was recognised by TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

 


News from the emerging local networks:

Capital Comment

Things are heating up in Wellington on many fronts. Popular discussions include social procurement, legal structures to enable social enterprise and social finance.  A number of international speakers have been ‘in town’ with ideas and perspectives to inspire the many conversations.  If you would like to be on the database for the Wellington CED Network please email: rogertweedy@xtra.co.nz if you do, an invite for an exciting event will be arriving in your mail box in May.

Coworking space for changemakers

The Kitchen, a shared work space for social changemakers, was launched in Ponsonby in March. The launch was a wonderful event that celebrated the dedication of Murray Sheard and his dynamic team to get this exciting initiative off the ground. It is a beautiful space that is already working well to link social innovators and entrepreneurs, share ideas and inspire action. It is great to see so many young people involved with the Kitchen, taking up the challenge to make positive change.

Auckland Council's Social Entrepreneurship role

The Auckland Council have recently advertised for a Principal Advisor in Social Entrepreneurship in their Community & Cultural Strategy Unit.  As far as I know, this will be the first social enterprise specific role that has been created in a council setting in the country.  If they recruit the right person, it could be the beginning of some cross council expertise being developed – and the beginnings of some much needed council support for social enterprise in the Auckland region. If you are a council officer and would like to know more about how a council can enable social enterprise development, check out The Social Enterprise Guide for people in local government that has been developed by Social Enterprise UK.

Social procurement

The Auckland Council has also commissioned a briefing paper on social procurement to inform the development of their procurement policy. I am working on this together with Jon Siddall from Synergia. Procurement processes all sounds a bit dry I know, but as I get to see the impact that  social procurement is having  on growing the social economy  overseas,  and the potential that exists to develop this in New Zealand, my interest is growing fast. An advantage of social procurement is that it need not add costs to create the added social value, but involves purchasing organisations, in government, local government and private sectors, contracting in new ways. In this age of austerity, this is the kind of innovation that will make a difference.

If you have relevant news from your region or community that you would like to be included in a future CED ebulletin, please email di@ced.org.nz

That’s all from me for now, wishing you all the best in your various socially just and enterprising adventures.

Di Jennings
Convenor, CED Network
di@ced.org.nz

 

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