In my role, I’m lucky to witness a wide range of (and sometimes even nudge along) business activities that have direct and positive impacts. And I get to meet the clever and committed people who are seeking and finding new solutions to the world’s most challenging environmental and/or social issues via a ‘not just for profit’ business model: New Zealand’s social entrepreneurs.
As opposed to an ethical business, which aims to make money while also minimising negative impacts, a social enterprise (and I don’t mean being an effective networker, though that probably helps) aims to fulfil social and/or environmental goals via its core business activity.
The SBN has a number of these organisations as members, and there’s one we work with really closely, especially around Awards season. BORDERLESS is a Social Change Agency with a vision to create positive change by delivering thought-provoking films and creative campaigns for organisations and people around the world.
Qiujing Wong (Q – pictured above, on left) and Co-founding Director Dean Easterbrook (second from right) chose to make Borderless a 'not just for profit' business model, that operates with both financial and social interests at its heart, and contribute to growing something that would ‘leave a positive legacy for the world’. While she was studying business at Auckland University, Q saw the enormous contribution business does and can make to the development of an economy, and also its huge potential for social destruction. She realised that if “we could find the space between these two dichotomies, we would be able to carve out a niche t
hat was both profitable and relevant.”
BORDERLESS creates films and creative campaigns (the new area of business they’ve been growing over the last year with clients such as Be. Accessible and the Telecom Foundation), that Q says all serve the same goal – to unlock and drive far reaching positive change.
I asked Q whether she felt a special responsibility as a communicator, to make sure these stories get told and the changes get made.
She told me, “I see BORDERLESS as a tool that any company or organisation can engage to help them understand and act on the inherent power they have to create positive social change in their community. Our work through film and creative campaign making is all about finding the opportunity to tell a great story whether it's a video or film, or a new brand story or website. We're unlocking people's natural desire to be generous and altruistic by showing them how rewarding and exciting it is to be a part of positive social change.”
I guess I have an ulterior motive for writing about this topic right now. As you may know, our National Awards are coming up on November the 8th, and we’re encouraging Kiwis send us their nominations for our Social Innovation Award. This award recognises outstanding programmes, innovations or businesses that use entrepreneurship to meet pressing social needs through research, collaboration, creating new ventures, and working with community groups and public agencies.
Head to http://www.sustainableawards.org.nz/ to get the nomination form.
Ka kite ano,