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June 18, 2019

How many social enterprises are there in New Zealand?

What is the economic contribution of social enterprises – BERL has an estimate.

Social entrepreneurship is an emerging and important type of entrepreneurship. In our research we have arrived at an estimate of the economic impact of social enterprises in new Zealand.

This is not as straight forward as just counting them, as they are not that easily identifiable, as yet. Last year BERL estimated the size and economic impact of social enterprises in New Zealand. We used data in the Statistics NZ Integrated Data Infrastructure to arrive at a range of estimates of how many social enterprises there are in New Zealand, what industry they are in, and what their economic impact might be.

We found that, under our assumptions, there were around 2,589 social enterprises in New Zealand.

Our assumptions were driven primarily by the fact that social entrepreneurs need to have profit as an objective. This profit objective augments their social objective and allows the business to be sustainable.

Our research is an important milestone in putting a stake in the ground through developing a methodology that works with current data sources and arriving at a first estimate of social enterprises to inform discussion/debate around theory and policy.

Our report is available here.