Upcoming Seminars

Shifting realities: Ecopreneurship and social enterprise in Samoa
Presenter: Sara Walton
November 15, 4-5pm
Centre for Sustainability,


Social enterprises are increasing in number dramatically globally and as a concept are emerging as a popular field of academic study. However, given the emerging nature of the field  there is also a paucity of empirical research as most current research focuses on defining and distinguishing the concept. In an attempt to extend knowledge in the field this research aims to examine the underlying business models of social enterprise to understand how these enterprises create value - in the full sense -  economic, social and environmental.

 Using a case study of Women in Business Development (WIBDI) in Samoa this presentation is an initial exploratory piece of research examining business models of social enterprises. WIBDI is an enterprise in Samoa that works with the family unit to build resilience through traditional organic farming. It acts somewhat as an intermediary, buying from organic farmers (they work with about 350) and selling to the likes of the Body Shop. This presentation will (re)present the business model of WIBDI and explain the value created through what I have termed ?the WIBDI way? - the way that WIBDI operates on a day-to-day basis. ?The WIBDI way? is embedded in the context of Samoa and the business model involves the weaving of socio-cultural and socio-economic systems in the creation of value. However, it also represents a shifting of realities through notions of self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship to build family and community resilience.

About the speaker:

Sara is a senior lecturer in the area of business, sustainability and the natural environment in the Department of Management. Her research includes; examining ecopreneurial businesses in New Zealand, social enterprise and for-benefit organisations, business responses to climate change, understanding natural resource based conflicts and analysing triple bottom line (TBL) company reports and constructions of sustainability. Sara is part of the Energy Cultures team at Otago (MBIE funded) researching in particular SME?s energy and transport practices. She has work published in leading journals such as Organization, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ) and Organization and Environment. Dr Walton?s research has been recognised through best papers at two Academy of Management conferences and a Mary Parker Follet award for a co-authored paper in AAAJ.


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