Our District

The rise of social enterprise in Kāpiti

Many community and environmentally minded people have amazing ideas for how to make meaningful change for our people and our planet -  the challenge is how to put ideas into action in a way that is self sustaining. Recently, Council brought  Ākina to Kāpiti to run social enterprise workshops and a panel discussion.

The workshops went through step-by-step basics on  how to make revenue from work which has a greater purpose. The trick is to be as specific as possible as to the purpose, while also acknowledging that not only is profit good, it’s necessary.

The panel discussion included Kāpiti residents speaking on their involvement in social enterprise and a brainstorming exercise that explored the needs, assets and potential for social enterprise in the district. A buzz of ideas and enthusiasm lead to the establishment of the Kāpiti Social Enterprise forum with interest in regular get-togethers.

The first informal gathering happened at the end of October, hosted by Liana Stupples who had just been to the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch. Those who turned up had the opportunity to socialise in the sunshine at the Paekākāriki Library, followed by a ‘Soapbox’ circle where everyone had a chance to share their reasons for being there, ranging from wanting to get a great idea off the ground, to wanting to better understand what social enterprise is. Liana spoke about her experience at the world forum and her vision for growing social enterprise initiatives in Kāpiti.

The Kāpiti Social Enterprise forum is open to all businesses, organisations and individuals interested in creating social and environmental outcomes using best business practices.  If you would like to learn more join the facebook page or contact Liana Stupples: liana.stupples@gmail.com, 021 154 6034 .


What is social enterprise?

Everything begins with a purpose.  A social enterprise is an organisation that trades to deliver a social or environmental purpose. Unlike charities or other social organisations, a social enterprise’s aim is to be self-sustaining financially, usually through selling a product or service.  Underpinning this is a primary aim to maximise community, social or environmental benefits.   Developing a social enterprise begins by figuring out what impact the enterprise will have, what does it wish to change in the world and how are they going to sustain such impact? The next step is to establish a business plan for how to both make money and deliver impact. This involves defining a purpose, describing what you will change and how you will change it, then considering what your customers need and what problems you are trying to solve. A Lean Canvas provides a starting point for planning out how your social enterprise will work.

Examples of social enterprises include: Toms, Fifteen, Red Cross Shops, Conscious   Consumers, Eat My Lunch



Further information

Social Lean Canvas,   http://socialleancanvas.com/

• Lean Startup

– Eric Ries’ book “The Lean Startup”

– Ash Maurya’s book “Running Lean”


– Steve Blank http://steveblank.com, and free online course “How

to build a startup” https://www.udacity.com/course/how-to-build-a-startup--ep245

• Design Thinking, designkit.org

• Community Matters, www.communitymatters.govt.nz


• Ākina Foundation, akina.org.nz

Startup Weekend