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My time and experience at Ākina Social Enterprise Forum

Wellington Zoo, host of ASEF18

Recently, we sent several Thankyou Payroll team members to the inaugural Aotearoa Social Enterprise Forum in Wellington hosted by Ākina Foundation. Below is a post written by Monita Reddy, our Customer Happiness Specialist and what she learned at ASEF18.

Tena Koutou

My name is Monita Reddy and I am a Customer Happiness Specialist at Thankyou Payroll. I started my journey with Thankyou Payroll at the beginning of March this year after quitting my job and career of 18 years in the airline industry. This was a huge change for me, moving into a very different work environment. I am currently a student at Victoria University completing my Master of Business Administration (MBA). I’m focused on working alongside the Social Enterprise family to help them grow and educate others on what we achieve and what we can do to achieve more.

I was one of those people living in this world with a very vague idea on what a Social Enterprise is and what the vision and mission of these enterprises are -until I encountered Thankyou Payroll and the Aotearoa Social Enterprise Forum, this was all a very grey area in my head.

Two weeks ago, I was given an opportunity to attend the ASEF held at the Wellington Zoo (a registered charity) and was blown away to see the number of people that attended this forum with their bright and innovative ideas on how we can all get together to plan for a better future. The enthusiasm, the passion, the dedication was all showcased amongst this group of amazing people across a wide range of ethnicity and age groups who are willing to collaborate various ideas that look after our community and the ecosystem as a whole.

Me and my teammates Karyn and Peter.

There were a few different, exciting workshops that we could choose from. I chose to attend “Policy Supporting Social Enterprise”, “Environmental Accountability in Social Enterprise” and “The Wellington Ecosystem”.

During the course of the day, apart from getting to know some great people in our Social Enterprise whānau, I learned a few things that I would like to share:

  1. Changing regulation is easier than changing a legislation.
  2. Be transparent.
  3. Tell the truth.
  4. Share the ideas but know who your competitors are.
  5. Finance is always tight, so lean operation is the key — maximum achievement with minimum wastage.
  6. Use the skills and expertise to build a network towards zero waste and be embedded in the community to showcase this.
  7. Your own economic contribution as a Social Enterprise needs to be known and understood.
  8. Own the power of living standards and use it as a superpower. Happy employees, happy employers - people’s wellbeing is the key factor.
  9. Stop talking to the group you are already in but become brave to own your story and share it with others. Invite and bring others to your party and celebrate success and knowledge.
  10. Make an impact on the contributions — who are we, why are we here and why we are doing what we are we doing.
  11. Tell the story and celebrate social and environmental effects.
  12. Focus your energy on localism. If we aspire to give local areas and communities, more control over what happens in their areas, then we must ensure they have the proper levers and support to do so.
  13. Learn what is and what isn’t working in your local area and share ideas towards sustainability.
  14. Don’t push out but bring in to become an enabler.
“You can celebrate and have a party but focus on bringing other people to your party”. -Hon Peeni Henare

I would like to thank our CEO Christina Bellis for giving me the opportunity to be part of such an amazing and awesome group of human beings and a special thanks and kudos to Ākina Foundation for organising the event. It was a very proud moment for me to be representing Thankyou Payroll and being part of yet another historical creation with our Social Enterprise network towards sustainability.

Stay tuned for more by following our Medium publication or check out the latest on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thankyou Payroll is a social enterprise providing online payroll and PAYE filing services for businesses and charities in New Zealand. If you want to be part of something more than just payroll, sign up to Thankyou Payroll here.


My time and experience at Ākina Social Enterprise Forum was originally published in Thankyou Payroll on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.