About the Centre

The New Zealand Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Centre (SIERC), established August 2010, is dedicated to providing a hub for interdisciplinary, academic research in social innovation and entrepreneurship. The purpose of the Centre is to conduct, support and disseminate research that contributes to advancing social innovation and entrepreneurship in New Zealand and internationally. It encompasses research that fits within a scholarly and flexible interpretation of social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Social innovation concerns the application of new ideas and processes or the reapplication of existing ideas in new ways to areas of social value and need and/or with the design and intention of delivering social impact. Often a collaborative approach is employed to provide innovative solutions that help create social change in a myriad of areas ranging, for instance, from environmental sustainability and green issues to public and community service initiatives. Social entrepreneurship relates to entrepreneurial action by organisations and individuals that creates significant social value. It engages with opportunities that create this value, embraces innovation and seeks out better ways to utilise existing resources and build new resources. Research in this domain can include ecopreneurship and green entrepreneurship; sustainability and ethical issues, in addition to not-for-profit, community, charity and philanthropic businesses that have an entrepreneurial approach.

Our Emblem

Harakeke or New Zealand flax has been chosen as the SIERC emblem. Harakeke (Phormium tenax) is different from the European variety of flax with deep meaning for Maori, as well as being a resilient plant used in traditional Maori weaving. It symbolises the concerted effort and resilience necessary for social innovation and change; the collaborative research approach and partnerships embodied in SIERC; and our commitment to entwining research excellence with knowledge advancement in a real world context.

Our Whakatauki (Maori proverb)

Nau te rourou, Naku te rourou, ka ora mai te iwi
With your basket and my basket the people will survive

Our Mission

To be a centre of research excellence dedicated to advancing social innovation and entrepreneurship in New Zealand and internationally.

Our Vision

Excellence in social innovation and entrepreneurship research

Our Objectives

  • To become the pre-eminent research centre and knowledge hub for social innovation and entrepreneurship in New Zealand.
  • In association with Government - central, regional and local; professional, business and community groups, to contribute toward social innovation in New Zealand.
  • To undertake collaborative research within Massey University and with other national and international research groupings.
  • To provide collective mentorship and support to associates in the Centre.
  • To develop research partnerships with social goal focused organisations and individuals.
  • To assist undergraduate and postgraduate students to develop research capability, conduct rigorous research and produce quality research outputs in social entrepreneurship and associated subject areas.
  • To assist undergraduate and postgraduate students to develop leadership and advocacy capabilities relevant to creating social value.
  • To attract and support national and international students, scholars and postdoctoral fellows.
  • To contribute to building leadership imbued with social values and vision.
  • To focus attention on the importance of social goals in business through teaching, research, professional and community presentations and publications.
  • To obtain internal and external funding to undertake the work of the Centre.

Latest News

Social Enterprise Auckland

You're invited to join Auckland’s social entrepreneurs on Friday, 8 July to connect, learn and share. This date marks the public launch of Social Enterprise Auckland.

SEA has been established in partnership with practitioners, policy makers and funders. It's your hub for inspiration, information and representation as you work for social change.
»»view invitation

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference

SIERC is delighted to make available the Proceedings of their successful third international conference -
Collaborating for Impact held on 10 -12 February 2016.

»» view proceedings

»» view programme (updated 12 February, 2016)

Special Issue: Entrepreneurship & Regional Development: The Collaborative Dynamic In Social Entrepreneurship

Guest Edited by SIERC Associates Anne de Bruin & Kate Lewis and SIERC External Affiliate Eleanor Shaw Published by Routledge, ER&D is a highly ranked journal (ranked ‘A’ in the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) and ‘3’ in the British Association of Business Schools (ABS) Journal Rankings Lists).

»» view call for papers

Ākina Foundation Launchpad Evaluation Report

SIERC Associates Professor Anne de Bruin and Dr Loren Stangl conducted an independent evaluation of Ākina’s first social enterprise accelerator – Launchpad.
This intensive accelerator assisted eleven teams to get their social enterprise ideas off the ground.
The six-month long programme commenced in October 2014.
»» Access the full report here:
(published June 2015)

Past News

MOU with Ākina Foundation

Massey University and non-profit organisation Ākina have signed an agreement on 8 September 2014, that will see SIERC and Ākina collaborate in a range of areas, including research, the exchange of data, funding applications, workshops and seminars, case studies and publicising best practice in social enterprise.

Signing of MoU with Ākina Foundation

International Comparative Social Enterprise Models Project

A group of researchers have committed to contributing New Zealand submissions to the International Comparative Social Enterprise Models (ICSEM) project ... read more

Seminar Archives

»» view seminar archive

Social Enterprise Mapping Survey

This survey has revealed a social enterprise sector in New Zealand which is relatively mature and diverse. A copy of the report summarising the survey findings is available on the Department of Internal Affairs' website.

©SIERC 2010 - 2015