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Oct 01, 2017

Foundation supports teachers to bring ‘social entrepreneurship’ to generation Z

Rātā Foundation has partnered with the Young Enterprise Scheme to give 18 teachers from across Canterbury, Nelson and Marlborough the chance to attend the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) taking place in Christchurch, 27 to 29 September.

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Louise Edwards, Chief Executive of Rātā Foundation says, "By enabling teachers to attend the Social Enterprise World Forum, we’re ensuring long term benefit, as teachers will take this learning back to the classrooms to benefit current and future young entrepreneurs."

"A social entrepreneur is society’s change agent - pioneering new technology and ideas which generate income as well as improved social and environmental outcomes," says Ms Edwards.

Social Enterprise can be a powerful means of enabling people into employment, ensuring organisational sustainability for community organisations and developing innovative solutions to social issues.

The Social Enterprise World Forum is a huge coup for Christchurch, one of New Zealand’s most innovative cities, and an opportunity for organisations from across the world to come together and explore possibilities to accelerate and grow the social enterprise sector.

Rātā Foundation as a supporter of both SEWF and Young Enterprise is keen to ensure a lasting legacy from the Forum taking place in its region. The 18 teachers attending the Forum are all involved with the Young Enterprise Scheme, with the Foundation granting $25,000 towards their attendance. The Foundation provided a grant of $50,000 to help bring SEWF to Christchurch.

The Young Enterprise Trust inspires young people to discover their potential in business and in life.

Dr Colin Kennedy, Head of the Young Enterprise Scheme says "the future of work is becoming increasingly more difficult to accurately predict or even imagine. Determining and focusing on the types of skills and knowledge young people need from educators is more important than ever. What is clear is that it will not be the same skills that have served us during the last century or even the last decade."

"Our enterprise programmes use a combination of teachers and members of the business community to provide an experience that is both authentic and relevant to the world we live in. Adapting to changing circumstances, failing fast, feeling success and learning how to collaborate in teams helps students to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit. Our financial literacy resources teach students to be smart with their money so that they can have more choices in life," says Dr Kennedy.

The Young Enterprise Trust works with its regional coordination partners, over 1,000 teachers and 1,500 volunteers to change the lives of more than 100,000 students every year.

Dr Kennedy says the Young Enterprise partnership with Rātā Foundation is particularly exciting.

"It has enabled us to provide an opportunity for our teachers and students to attend the unique event that is the Social Enterprise World Forum. By exposing this group from Christchurch, Nelson and Kaikoura to global experts and practice, there will be an enduring impact on how our young entrepreneurs understand the potential of social impact through business."

Ms Edwards says that building on the momentum from the Social Enterprise World Forum, Rātā Foundation is developing a small scale fund to support community organisations which it currently funds, to develop social enterprise activity.

"Social enterprise offers opportunities for community organisations to develop new income streams, and to find new ways to meet their mission, for example by providing employment opportunities," she says.

The fund will provide small grants to cover development costs to get enterprise initiatives up and running. Details of the programme will be on Rātā Foundation’s website - www.ratafoundation.org.nz - in the next week.