BACKGROUND OF THE SUMMIT

Pacific Business Trust (PBT) has a mandate to support Pacific Business and Entrepreneurs across New Zealand. When invited to be a partner for the Social Enterprise World Forum in 2017, PBT saw a great opportunity to connect our Pacific entrepreneurs and entities with social objectives of what is happening globally and, most importantly, understand what is happening across New Zealand.

Looking through the eyes of 30 years of existence, PBT was aware of the significant number of Pacific enterprises with a social and/or cultural focus. The Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 crystalised for PBT that if the Pacific entrepreneur and entities could be identified and supported simultaneously with the evolution of the social enterprise sector in NZ, there would be a major opportunity to contribute in a significant manner to this growing sector.

RESEARCH

PBT began its journey by completing research initiatives in 2018, to shed some light on existing and potential Pacific Social enterprise. Firstly, the joint Pacific Economy research work with the Treasury and secondly The Social Enterprise Research: A study of current literature and practice. PBT wanted to tease out what their status in theoretical and practical debates regarding the sector and how PBT might assist them in carving out a niche for itself within the emerging mainstream social enterprise ecosystem in New Zealand.

PACIFIC ECONOMY RESEARCH PDF
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE RESEARCH: A STUDY OF CURRENT LITERATURE AND PRACTICE (Report to be released 31st May 2019)

KEY INSIGHTS FROM RESEARCH

Blindingly obvious from both these research initiatives was that Pacific people invest hugely into community efforts as can be seen by the significant amount of voluntary hours per capita and the significant number of enterprises with a ‘social outcome’ focus. The Social Enterprise Research contained the following key points for discussion:

Voice – there is a lack of Pacific Voice and identity in the shaping of New Zealand social enterprise landscape. Pacific perspective is largely absent in the mainstream dialogue that is now shaping the social, legal, financial and policy frameworks and agendas that will determine the sectors future.

Opportunities and Challenges – need to hear the Pacific understanding of what challenges face the emergence and growth of social enterprise among Pacific communities, and how to turn those challenges into opportunities.

Representation – this study asks whether the mainstream dialogue, the emergent sector and corresponding ecosystem fully represent and serve the interests and needs of Pacific organisations to be financially sustainable to deliver sustainable development for the communities they serve.

Value – there is a need to bring Pacific social enterprise to the attention of the mainstream, highlighting their valued contribution, values and ways of working to support Pacific and wider New Zealand’s social and economic and environmental outcomes.

Leadership – the challenge lies in carving a common Pacific social enterprise identity with visibility so that models of investment and support are relevant and build on Pacific strengths and assets. This is a key leadership and coordinative role that PBT can play as a logical extension of its service to Pacific community development.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Research report also made some recommendations for PBT to consider:

LEAD THE CONVERSATION
Define and co-create a Pacific community and social enterprise conversation, identity and visibility

BE THE CONNECTION
Coordinate and support the sustainability of local, micro Pacific networks and ecosystems

CREATE AN EXCHANGE
Develop a Pacific intermediary between the ecosystems at the micro and macro level

MEASURE THE IMPACT
Demonstrate Pacific impact with its strength lying in its connection to one another
with a solid platform of common identity, coordination and voice.

ADVOCATE FOR NEEDS
Advocate for the needs and interests of organisations shaping the lives of Pacific families and communities