Foreward by Sir Neville Jordan, KNZM
For our country to better look after our people and environment, we need innovative ways to achieve social inclusiveness and wellbeing for all New Zealanders. Some businesses, often referred to as social enterprises, have long been working for broader versions of social and environmental capital, and have significant, untapped potential to create transformative change for New Zealand, alongside traditional delivery models for social outcomes.
Social enterprise models have the potential to innovate and to create value for a triple or quadruple bottom line. In the process, jobs are created, communities are nurtured, the environment is preserved and maintained, and the economy is fostered.
We are also seeing significant growth in the number of businesses in New Zealand that operate with both an impact, as well as the traditional profit focus, as the world starts to shift towards solving the complex challenges we are all facing. What this report evidences is that New Zealand’s current legal structures and financial expectations are hindering social enterprises being able to reach their full potential: Businesses that prioritise more than just financial profit are being disadvantaged in New Zealand.
New Zealand has the potential to enable business-of-the-future, and to establish a suitable, modern legal and commercial environment that does not hinder and disadvantage businesses creating social or environmental impact. The disadvantages which this report identifies, and the potential growth in wellbeing for New Zealand if these are removed, are significant. By dismantling the barriers that the current legal structures present for social enterprise, we can catalyse private sector-led solutions, and demonstrate how impact through enterprise can be achieved across the entire economy.
If we create the right settings for social enterprise, we have the opportunity to enhance the prosperity and wellbeing of generations to come in New Zealand. Therefore, we encourage the Government, Parliament and the wide range of stakeholders involved in the analysis of our current legal structures, and tasked with growing ‘impact investment’ in New Zealand, to consider carefully the details of this report, to seek to understand the importance of impact through enterprise, and to take action and to make those reforms that are necessary to let social enterprise achieve its full potential and impact in New Zealand.
SIR NEVILLE JORDAN, KNZM CNZM
Kilmarnock, Trade Aid, Janette Searle, Patu Aotearoa, Eat My Lunch, Choice, Little Yellow Bird, Loomio, CBEC, Ngāpuhi, Whale Watch, Lifewise, Hikurangi Enterprises, KiwiBank, Jamie Newth, Raewyn Jones, Feel Good Period, Zero Waste Network, Inland Revenue, Charities Services, Fairground Accounting.