The Social Innovation Opportunity is right now. And so is your chance to gain more awareness of social innovation and how it can be fostered locally to address the big issues our world is facing.

The Social Innovation Opportunity, co-produced by Ākina Foundation and Venture Centre, is a three-part event designed to inspire, showcase and practice.

Starting with a presentation by Kristen Joiner, Social Innovation Expert and Director of Impact Investment at Enterprise Angels, you will then gain insights from practitioners gathered in an interactive panel, and finish off over lunch by exploring the tools and methods social entrepreneurs use to start making change happen.

Joining us on the panel is Manu Caddie from Hikurangi Enterprises. We’ve asked Manu to tell us more about how his organisation is making the world a better place.

Hikurangi Group is comprised of a range of entities including a charitable trust, a charitable company, an investment company, holding company and limited partnerships that all focus on truly sustainable economic development for the East Coast north of Gisborne. Manu is mostly involved in two ventures – the first is developing high-value products from indigenous organisms (plants, fungi and shellfish) with a vision of recladding our highly erosion prone land in native rainforest that can be sustainably harvested for use in natural health products and high nutrition foods. The second is
establishing a medical cannabis company that utilises our local skill base to develop safe and effective pharmaceuticals manufactured in Ruatoria. Through Manu’s involvement in these ventures, he and Hikurangi Enterprises are making the world a better place.

However, it is not all smooth sailing. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome and when we asked Manu what is required to accelerate and push Hikurangi Enterprises, he told us that they need to bring in more people who have the skills and experience relevant to the scale and activities of their company – in particular attracting people with experience in HR, production and manufacturing, Health & Safety, compliance and quality assurance, horticulture, chemistry and bioscience, pharmaceuticals, marketing, sales and brand development. Along with this, one of their biggest challenges is the pace of government regulation in the medical cannabis space. If this were to be accelerated then it would enable Hikurangi Enterprises to fulfil the orders they have for the medical grade cannabis extracts worth $160m over the next three years. Finally a business cannot continue without the dough; if they had access to more revenue and investment, Hikurangi Enterprises would have the funds to pay the people they need so that they can to grow faster and in conjunction; make a bigger difference.

Hikurangi Enterprises have a strong belief and hold on to the vision of Ngati Porou diaspora returning to populate their tribal lands again, to maintain and revitalise the paepae and cultural traditions through job creation in industries and commercial activities that enhance rather degrade biodiversity, soil and water quality. In 10 years they’d like to see a wide range of successful business growing and supporting communities beyond the East Coast and 100 years they can imagine the land and waterways restored with our mokopuna living in harmony with the environment again.  

Working to positively impact the future of the environment isn’t Hikurangi Enterprises responsibility alone. It’s time to take responsibility for the environmental, social, and economical problems happening all over the world, starting right here in our community. 

Come and meet Manu, discuss Social Innovation and mix with others wanting to take action at The Social Innovation Opportunity in Tauranga on 27th August , 9:30am - 1pm, Basestation 148 Durham Street Tauranga. Secure your spot here.

Want to know more about Social Entrepreneurship, its impact and how to be a part of growing it in our region? Just click here.


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