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Here’s an overview of some of the specific work being done to create the conditions for a thriving social enterprise sector.


Since launching in May 2018, the Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme has undertaken a huge amount of activity focussed on establishing a more robust understanding of the needs present in New Zealand’s social enterprise landscape. We’ve been working to identify the best areas of focus to create positive change for the social enterprise sector.

In the first year the programme focused on:

  • Research and environment scanning

  • Engaging with the social enterprise sector

  • Developing ways to build capability of social enterprise

  • Exploring ways to improve access to finance

  • Improving access to markets through social procurement

For a comprehensive overview of the first 12 months of the programme, take a look at the year one summary below.


Year One Summary

The Programme wrapped-up year one on 30 June 2019. Here’s a high-level overview of that first year of activity.

Programme activity highlights

  • Undertook a comprehensive environment scan and a range of sector engagement activity, including 21 ‘kitchen table talk’ events held in communities across the country.

  • Held 13 regional hui to look into the needs of Māori enterprise or pakihi whai kaupapa (business that pursues purpose).

  • Established a social enterprise Sector Working Group to represent the needs of the wider community, Māori and social enterprise sectors.

  • Established a Cross-Agency Advisory Group including members from across government agencies to advocate for social enterprise across government.

  • Commissioned and published significant research into the capital needs of social enterprises, legal structures for social enterprises and the history of the sector.

  • Undertook investigations into ‘macro trends’ for social enterprise, including the demand for mentoring support and examining the needs of Māori and youth.

  • Launched fwd:, New Zealand’s first Social Procurement Marketplace, involving the certification of more than 50 social enterprise suppliers and the formation of a buyer group that includes some of New Zealand’s largest companies.

  • Supported impact investment activity through New Zealand’s first impact investment fund and through the administration of impact readiness grants, to help more social enterprises unlock investment.

  • Represented New Zealand social enterprise at the 2018 World Forum in Edinburgh, the Aotearoa Social Enterprise Forum, Festival for the Future 2018, and other significant industry events.

  • Contributed to discussions around the inclusion of social enterprise in the Government Procurement Rules that come into force from 1 October 2019.

  • Based on our research and sector engagement, focussed the programme on four key areas that will result in positive change for a majority of social enterprises. These areas of focus are in improving access to capital, improving access to markets through social procurement, impact measurement and a place-based approach to capability building.


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