Social enterprise is a tool for communities to use to achieve positive social, environmental, cultural or local economic outcomes.

Lots of people at a farmers' market

Project Lyttelton's farmers market

Some great local examples include Cultivate Christchurch, Trees For Canterbury and Kilmarnock Enterprises. 

The Department of Internal Affairs states a social enterprise must:

  • have a social, cultural, or environmental mission
  • receive a substantial portion of its income from the trade of goods or services
  • reinvest all or the majority of its profit or surplus to advance its social, cultural or environmental mission.

The Christchurch City Council supports social enterprises by:

  • purchasing from them
  • providing advice to organisations considering a social enterprise venture
  • facilitating a not-for-profit social enterprise network, supporting their development and growth
  • facilitating meetings with agencies involved in supporting the social enterprise sector
  • raising the profile of social enterprises by funding events such as the Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 in Christchurch and the Impact Summit at the University of Canterbury
  • providing access to funding and community loans
  • having a social clause in the new Sustainable Procurement Policy that supports social enterprises in supply chains.

Email social.enterprise@ccc.govt.nz for more information. 

Other local support available

Organisation What they do
The Social Enterprise Institute(external link) Offers training and advisory services to enable not-for-profit organisations to become more financially independent and sustainable whilst retaining their values and a commitment to social, environmental, economic and cultural outcomes
Akina(external link) Supports social enterprises to grow and increase their impact, offers a range of workshops, tools, networks and services to help boost social entrepreneurs
Whare Aki(external link) Hosted by Akina, provides resources, a community discussion forum and a simple question and answer section to empower social entrepreneurs
Business Mentors(external link) Community and business mentoring and support
The Ministry of Awesome(external link) Supports early-stage entrepreneurs with ideas for projects, events, start-ups and social enterprises to turn their ideas into reality
ChristchurchNZ(external link) Has staff and resources available to help with business advice and mentoring for social enterprise start-ups and social innovators needing ways to financially sustain their efforts



Social Enterprise in Christchurch book

Social Enterprise in Christchurch booklet

The Council, in collaboration with the Social Enterprise Institute, launched a booklet about the history of local enterprises at the Christchurch-hosted Social Enterprise World Forum in 2017.

Social Enterprise in Christchurch [PDF, 18 MB]