They say good things take time. But they are also the product of a bunch of other things, too. Social enterprise is all about doing good things through business ventures and a lot of hard graft, and there’s a lot of it going on right here in little old New Zealand.
Basically, social enterprises are hybrid organisations that trade products or services to do good things for the world, whether it’s giving to people in need or making an important environmental change.
Take Eat My Lunch, an initiative that offers the people of Auckland super tasty lunches for just $10. For every lunch box purchased, Eat My Lunch will give a meal to a child in Auck- land who really needs it, for free. Michael Meredith and Lisa King started the the initiative with the aim of making it easier for Kiwis to help other Kiwis. The innovative duo is aiming to alleviate a nationwide issue – child poverty – by creating a change through something as routine as eating lunch.
Like loads of other Kiwis, Jason and Jess Holdaway didn’t realise just how many New Zealand kids were going without basic school resources – even simple things like pencils and pens. But when they did, they decided to do something about it, unlike many others. Enter, Frank Stationery! The stationery brand provides NZ young’uns who experience extreme material hardship with the stationery they need to be top of the class. The brand also operates under a buy-one-give-one model as with Eat My Lunch.
Another uber-cool social enterprise is Indigo and Iris, founded by 18-year-old Bonnie Howland. This one’s seriously cool: Bonnie has created a New Zealand-made, organic mascara and for every one sold, someone in the Pacific Islands will have their blindness treated. Now that really is a beautiful sight!
There are hundreds of other social enterprises happening all around the country (we’re enterprising folk, us Kiwis) – and perhaps you’ve even got an idea up your sleeve for your own project? Perhaps your involvement with the Conservation Cup made a light switch on in your head (a light with an eco-friendly bulb, of course)? Well they say good things take time, and that’s true. So get out there and start enterprising!