Brainstorm Mornings: How Might We nurture the development of ethical enterprises in Tasmania

Brainstorm Mornings is Tasmania’s unique change maker community where thinkers, innovators, leaders, entrepreneurs or anyone who is passionate about doing good to people and the environment get together to discuss and create a vision for a better future. Hosted by social entrepreneur Marisol Miro Quesada, the group meets monthly to tackle complex social and environmental problems. As a practitioner and coach of design thinking, lean and customer centred innovation, Marisol believes every problem is an opportunity for design and uses those techniques to facilitate the co-design sessions. By framing the monthly challenges as How might we… questions we set ourselves up for innovative solutions. Our informal gatherings have guest speakers, lots of post-its and people who want to talk about real issues, design, co-create solutions and in the process connect with others and get empowered to act and achieve change. A vegan/gluten free morning tea is always available.

The challenge we tackled this month: How might we nurture the development of ethical enterprises in Hobart.
When and where: 29th of August 2017 at Hobart City Town Hall, Tasmania.
Hosted by Coinventa and facilitated by Marisol Miro Quesada, Coinventa’s Business Development.
Guest speaker: Eric Sivret, Director of The Change Makers Tasmania, a local ethical enterprise incubator.
Thanks to our brilliant participants, Mark Dibben, Kate Cooper, Peter Tatham, David Lee, Marty Bohata, Eric Sivret and Marisol Miro Quesada.

What participants said about the meet-up:


“I didn’t know what to expect and I am super pleased because I might now think differently about my own business and social enterprises in general. Great system to apply to tackle any challenges. Great food for brain.”

“I am taking ideas that will help my business and my clients which is great!”

The purpose of this meet-up was to hold a hands-on, interactive discussion using the how might we question technique to ignite creativity and innovative thinking where local change makers could imagine new and innovative ways to ‘nurture the development of ethical enterprises in Hobart’ and highlight the importance of this issue in Tasmania’s economy and culture. Will this event inspire entrepreneurs, local councils, government, businesses, NFPs and other organisations to put ethical enterprises on the agenda? We certainly hope so.

From our guest speaker:

Our guest speaker Eric Sivret presented a summarised analysis of the current social enterprise state in Australia. Four point of views in the form of stories where highlighted by Eric as being critical to understand the current challenges that social enterprises face in Tasmania:

  • Social enterprise definition (for this session’s purpose): Organisations that trade to fulfil a social mission. Organisations that profit for an ethical purpose.
  • They are a small growing part of the ecosystem: 853,0001 businesses in Australia with more than 1 employee. >51,0002 registered not for profits entities. >20,0003 estimated social enterprises.
  • A typical social enterprise is: In the services industry (68%),  Small business (73%), Providing service for profit (62.7%), Reinvesting all profit (81%), Investing in growth (86.2%), Receiving 300 (median) hours of volunteer support.

Selected P.O.V. (points of view) on social enterprises:

  • POV1: A manager trying to grow the business to increase impact is unable to qualify for finance used by businesses or grants used by non-profits to upgrade facilities.
  • POV2: The owner of a not for profit cultural centre funded by a shop struggles to develop business skills like marketing and management.
  • POV3: A social enterprise is losing business, while they can compete on price and service, they are unable to get recognition for the added social value they provide.
  • POV4: A social entrepreneur looking to create partnerships is frustrated by how hard it is to meet likeminded organisations.

How Might We questions developed during the session

HMW questions are designed to trigger creative thinking and innovation and to promote team work. After an insightful presentation from Eric, we used the POVs to come up with as many HMW questions as possible. This is the result:

  • HMW create a finance body that values more social and environmental positive impact.
  • HMW get to government to recognize social and environmental ethics in business activities like procurement.
  • HMW get NFPs to learn business culture and skills while having fun networking?
  • HMW create finance program only for social enterprises?
  • HMW get NFPs to switch to for profit structures while retaining social ties and values?
  • HMW get businesses to integrate added social value in all operations?
  • HMW create processes for social enterprises to apply and access to government subsidies?
  • HMW enable the application process through better support for funding for social enterprises?
  • HMW attract probono work and business talent for social enterprises?
  • HMW found a social enterprise bank interested in community credit/kudos rather than margin?
  • HMW change the market for finance for social enterprises?
  • HMW give social enterprises access to tools, templates, mentors and resources to grow?
  • HMW create a community program to share skills and knowledge in the social enterprise community?
  • HMW upskill NFP staff in a low cost way to understand the fundamentals of business?
  • HMW make sure social enterprises are targeting customers that value social and environmental values in providers?
  • HMW help businesses to quantify the added social value they provide and use that as distinctive customer attractors?
  • HMW create a network or community to meet each other?
  • HMW set up a vehicle like a community organization to support social enterprises businesses?
  • HMW harness volunteers to upgrade the building of the business?
  • HMW access partnerships to build credibility to get grants?
  • HMW establish crowdfunding campaigns to finance businesses?
  • HMW access quality marketing expertise for social enterprises?
  • HMW get businesses to put social and environmental value first?
  • HMW change the status quo of growth and profit being the ultimate goal of businesses?
  • HMW create impact with limited or no resources and funds?
  • HMW free or cheaply raise funds?
  • HMW capture and measure added social and environmental value in social enterprises business activities and operations?
  • HMW build stronger relationships based on added social and environmental value?
  • HMW attract the right people into the workforce of social enterprises?
  • HMW work back from outcomes to find like minded organisations.
  • HMW place a value on reimagined views of growth.

Brainstormed ideas triggered by the HMW questions:

Following the development of the HMW questions, team brainstorm was triggered and in a couple of minutes great ideas sprouted  and were discussed:

  • Create a social enterprise peak body in Tasmania.
  • Develop alternative funding for social enterprise.
  • Create stronger partnerships. Make them easier between social enterprise, NFPs, businesses and government.
  • Quickly build credibility.
  • Tax social enterprise differently.
  • Accommodate social enterprise differently when accessing funding eg.banks
  • Create guidelines and definitions for accessing government procurement.
  • Get government to include ‘ethics’ in the business definition.
  • Fund a social enterprise coach and mentor network.
  • Create new funding streams for social enterprise.
  • Re-purpose corporate community days to support social enterprise.
  • Measure value by social/environmental contribution not return.
  • Create a social enterprise program for access specific subsidies.
  • Value the total ‘package’ including social/environmental values.
  • Identify barriers to partnerships.
  • Better measure social benefits.
  • Create new rules for social enterprise grant applications.
  • Create focus on growth as a measure of contribution of value.
  • Campaign to get customers to vote with their dollars.
  • Create a new product label ‘made by social enterprise”.
  • Create a rewards program for buying from social enterprise.
  • Create meet-ups and events for social enterprise.
  • Create a skill sharing trading network.
  • Create volunteering learning programs for social enterprise.
  • Create a measure of social/environmental value to rank against.
  • Re-establish companies as benefit corporations.
  • Create a marketing fund for social enterprise.
  • Improve social enterprise skills leverage systems.
  • Change reporting metrics to include social and environmental values and impact.
  • Create a probono culture.
  • Communicate value of ethical work as a workplace benefit on top of salary.

We value your contribution

Do you have answers to our HMW questions you would like to share? Ideas that our HMW questions have triggered? Please leave us a comment below, we would love to hear your thoughts on how we can promote more ethical enterprises in Tasmania.

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By | 2018-06-11T07:55:23+00:00 August 30th, 2017|Brainstorm Mornings, Events|