Auckland named Social Enterprise City ahead of SEWF 2017

Auckland has been recognised as a leading ‘hotspot’ of social enterprise activity by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), just days before New Zealand is due to host one of the biggest events in the social enterprise calendar.

SEUK’s Social Enterprise Places Programme recognises areas where social enterprise activity is thriving, and supports those places to collaborate with local councils, businesses, charities, consumers and aspiring social entrepreneurs. The programme aims to ‘promote, raise awareness, and build the markets for social enterprise at a local and national level’.

Auckland joins 20 other official social enterprise places, all of which are located in the UK and include Great Yarmouth, Bristol and Gateshead. The title was awarded in the lead-up to the 2017 Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF), which takes place in Christchurch this week and attracts hundreds of policy makers, social entrepreneurs and social investors from around the world.

Tricia Fitzgerald is the chair of Social Enterprise Auckland, a membership organisation formed to provide support to and connect social enterprises. Fitzgerald said: “We are delighted to have been awarded Social Enterprise City status by SEUK.

"We have a growing number of fantastic organisations such as Ooooby, Eat My Lunch, The Palett Kingdom and many others working to reduce inequality and provide the kind of change that will allow local communities to realise their potential.”

Local communities are taking back control... to tackle the inequalities and divisions afflicting communities.

Auckland’s social enterprises take on a variety of forms and work in a number of different sectors. For example, Ooooby delivers fresh, organic fruit and vegetable boxes to homes across the city and is working to support small-scale, sustainable farmers.

Eat My Lunch also operates in the food industry, offering lunch deals and catering packages, but focuses on improving the lives of children in poverty. According to the social enterprise, 25,000 children are living in poverty in New Zealand and go to school without lunch every day. When a customer makes a purchase from Eat My Lunch, a meal is provided for one of these children.

Peter Holbrook, CEO of SEUK and former chair of SEWF, visited Auckland to celebrate the award. He said: “We were hugely impressed by Auckland’s application and delighted to award it ‘Social Enterprise City’ status.

Auckland will now join a growing number of places in the UK and around the world that are turning to social enterprise to tackle social issues, creating a fairer economy and using sustainable businesses to generate social value and impact.

“There is an appetite in Europe and across the world for greater social justice. Local communities are taking back control to harness the energy of businesses, community groups, charities and co-operatives to tackle the inequalities and divisions afflicting communities. Social enterprises are at the vanguard of delivering this change, innovation and hope.”

The 2017 SEWF is taking place between the 27th and 29th of September. Pioneers Post will be at the event to cover all the action.

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Photo credit: Social Enterprise Auckland