Tag Archives: Helping the community

Using social enterprise to benefit community wellbeing

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week Brittany Stewart, Logan Williams and Timothy Mills debunk some of the myths about social enterprises they learnt while taking part in the Kathmandu New Zealand Student Social Enterprise Challenge. The theme of the challenge was wellbeing and as the team discovered, generating social benefit can be quite challenging.

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Recently, I had the opportunity to compete in the Kathmandu New Zealand Student Social Enterprise Challenge at UC. We had just 48 hours to create and develop a social enterprise with the goal to provide improved mental health and wellbeing to our communities.

Our team developed Shirt off my back, a social enterprise which aimed to improve the wellbeing of kiwi kids in low decile schools by providing them with essential clothing they may not have with the aim of improving the quality of their day-to-day-life and their engagement at school.

Going into the challenge I thought I understood what it meant to create a viable social enterprise, but I was wrong. There are many misconceptions to social enterprises which often prevent people from undertaking the challenge of starting one up. I plan to set these misconceptions straight to prove why social enterprises are becoming more important than ever to help our communities.

  1. “Social enterprises are just about being environmentally friendly”

Social enterprises are well-known for their environmentally friendly products. However, there are many social enterprises which aim to have a social impact, where they want to create businesses which give back to communities, like Shirt off my back.

  1. “Social enterprises do not make any money”

During the challenge, the most difficult part of creating our social enterprise was figuring out how to make money! However, many social enterprises are very profitable. Shirt off my back uses a one-for-one model. For every item of clothing a consumer buys at one of our retail partners, the retailer will give an item of clothing to Shirt off my back to distribute to kids that need them most.  The aim of a social enterprise is to deliver benefits by using their revenues to finance activities that generate social benefit.

Social enterprises have the potential to address issues in our communities in a self-sustaining way. Social enterprises provide the opportunity for people to improve their communities in a way that neither capitalism nor charity has yet been able to match.

If you want to find out more about social enterprise in New Zealand check out: http://akina.org.nz/

New date for All Right Amble

All right Amble 170906

Sunday 15 October, 10am – 2pm
Start at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre

Due to the abysmal weather on Sunday the All Right? Amble was postponed, but the good news is it will take place this Sunday instead.

Part orienteering mission, part treasure hunt, all family fun – the All Right? Amble is a health-focused event organised by Bachelor of Health Sciences students.

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Blood donation at UC next week

Blood Drive

The New Zealand Blood Service is back at UC collecting blood on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 October.  We can be found in Undercroft 101, Puaka-James Hight building from 9.30am – 2.30pm.

Appointments can be made via the NZ Blood app,  by phoning 0800 GIVEBLOOD (0800 448325), online at www.nzblood.co.nz or you can simply turn up on the day and donate.