A new research report on community economic development and social enterprise found “the sector has a and fragmented, from itself, and other stakeholders”.
While there are many fine examples of successful initiatives, foundations and systemic supports need to be put in place for the sector these to grow and thrive as it potentially could.
The new report “Community Economic Development: understanding the New Zealand context” was commissioned by the New Zealand Community Economic Development Trust, with research conducted by Di Jennings, CED Research Project Manager. Lottery Community Research provided a grant to support this work.
Other findings show a low awareness of community economic development (CED) and social enterprise in the wider community, a lack of a policy framework and resource allocated from central and local government, and minimal research carried out in the New Zealand context, compared to overseas.
This report is the outcome of a comprehensive research process that includes interviews with 97 social enterprise and CED practitioners and five focus groups. Some of the interviews for the basis for seven case studies included within the report.
The interviewed practitioners operate in cities, small towns and rural areas from around New Zealand and are involved in a diverse range of trading activities. The report integrates these findings with a comprehensive review of New Zealand and international literature about CED and social enterprise.
New Zealand practitioners would like to see a greater degree of coherence in the support environment and many are keen to see a national intermediary established.
Research results indicate there is a high need for collective advocacy to grow awareness and promote the needs of CED practitioners. For collective advocacy to be possible, an engaged community will first need to be established on a national basis. An important role for a national intermediary will be to make connections with Māori enterprise.
A series of recommendations to help achieve a thriving CED and social enterprise sector are made. These are directed at CED and social enterprise practitioners, central and local government, and private, philanthropic and academic sectors.
See the full “Community Economic Development: understanding the New Zealand context” document: