It started with a mint tea...

Helen Curtis, co-founder of the Good Seed Collective shares her thoughts on why she was inspired to start a social enterprise.

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Steph and I first met, of course, over food. We spent that first evening at a mutual friends leaving dinner solving the world’s problems and bonding over our shared love of surfing. A year and a half later,  we were sitting on the roof top in Morocco’s windy city of Essaouira sipping mint tea and discussing how we could help people who wanted to spread resources more evenly across the different groups that make up our society. We wanted to give businesses an easy way to access the communities and environments that need it most, hence began the idea of The Good Seed Collective.

In the year and a half before setting up The Good Seed Collective, we both had life changing experiences. I headed overseas to spend six months volunteering and improving my Spanish, while camping and surfing my way upward from Panama to Mexico. Then we swapped roles and earlier this year, Steph left on an adventure and I headed to the other side of the world and began work as an advocate in public health in the UK. Not able to miss out, I joined her for 10 days of her trip and that is how we ended up in Morocco sipping mint tea.

One of the most eye opening things that a traveller experiences is the sheer unfairness of the world.  Although it definitely exists throughout New Zealand, when you travel the poverty and class structure is right in your face all the time and you are quickly reminded of the privileges you have. It is also a time that you see the real consequences that climate change is having, displacing communities and destroying traditional means of livelihood. Steph and I decided over that mint tea (and subsequent bumpy, sweaty bus rides through Morocco) to harness the power of commerce to make an an impact.

The awesome thing we realised is that creating a social impact doesn’t have to be at the expense of a business - infact, its quite the opposite. Once we researched further into this, we discovered not only does it benefit the planet and people, but it has significant potential for creating business value. Through social impact, a business can demonstrate their core vlues to consumers, and in doing so, create a new source of competitive advantage. We are giving businesses the opportunity to get on board early, ride this wave and use it to have a real impact where it is needed, both within New Zealand and around the world.

We know we are not the only ones who care about making a difference, and we are just a small dot in the wider community of amazing businesses, organisations and individuals who are working to make the world better. We want to use this journal space and social media to tell the world about awesome things people are doing with social change, so keep an eye out for future journal entries showcasing exciting things!