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Trade Aid : Building just and sustainable communities through social entrepreneurship


The mission of Trade Aid was to provide incomes for people living in poverty, and to build sustainable communities in economically disadvantaged areas through fair trade and social justice. The mission grew out of Vi and Richard Cottrell’s desire to help refugees. They believed they could help disadvantaged groups by facilitating the sale of their handcrafted goods into the high value New Zealand market, so they began Trade Aid. This case examines the key issues involved with founding, growing, and sustaining a venture focused on social sustainability. It highlights the issue of social mission whilst making money to insure financial sustainability. As such, the Trade Aid case calls into question the conventional wisdom that suggests that the pursuit of money and social mission are incompatible organisational aims The case is ideally suited to a social entrepreneurship course and advocates two learning objectives in this context: 1) students learn how social mission can be a component of business strategy; and 2) students understand the challenge of planning and balancing two strategies, a social and a business strategy.

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Case Description
Business Case Study NoUA-2009-007
Number of Pages17
CompanyTrade Aid New Zealand Incorporated (TANZ)
IndustryRetailing / wholesale / distribution

SourceAuckland, NZ. Publisher: University of Auckland Business Case Centre. Pages: 34 - 51