What we’re


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.


Year One Summary

Here’s a high level over view of programme activity from the first year.

Programme activity highlights

  • In the first 12 months we undertook a comprehensive environment scan and a range of engagement activity, including 21 ‘kitchen table talk’ events held in communities across the country and hui with regional groups interested in pakihi whai kaupapa (business that pursues purpose).

  • Established a social enterprise Sector Working Group, and a Cross-Agency Advisory Group which includes members from across government agencies.

  • 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 and advocated for the .

  • 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.

  • Facilitated representation for New Zealand social enterprise at the 2018 World Forum in Edinburgh, the Aotearoa Social Enterprise Forum 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.

  • Published The Impact Initiative website as a tool for engaging with the sector and a place to publish programme reports and social enterprise case studies.

  • Based on our research and sector engagement, narrowed down the programme focus to four key areas for the remainder of the programme. These overall goals are in improving access to capital, improving access to markets, and building capability of enterprises through impact measurement and a network of regional hubs.