Would you describe HaloBiz as "Socially Innovative" or its GM a "Social Entrepreneur"?

Monday 1 August 2011, 9:14AM
By Halo Biz

If you were to ask this question of HaloBiz’s General Manager, Julie South, she’d probably laugh at you – but she’d do it in the nicest way possible of course, because HaloBiz is all about win/win.

South is firmly of the opinion that “entrepreneur” is a verb, not a noun and so widely and (in her humble opinion) incorrectly used, that it’s now meaningless and worthless “but that’s just my opinion” she’s quick to state.

HaloBiz is the online business directory that’s melded fundraising with business search capability to allow the public to “let their hearts do the talking”.   Recently launched in the central Waikato is a business-directory-in-progress that gives away at least 70% of its advertising fees to charities and community organisations of the business advertiser’s choice.   “We have a big task ahead of us making it “okay” for businesses to be out-there with their philanthropy” says South.

Kiwi business owners, historically at least, tend to hide their lights under bushels when it comes to promoting and highlighting the good they do in their own communities.  According to South this was all fine and well in our grandparents’ days when everyone knew everyone else and who was up to what, but times have changed.  New Zealand’s social dynamics are not what they used to be.

We’re busier; appear to have less time than ever before and everything moves faster than it’s ever done. One byproduct of this busy-ness is people don’t have the time to stop and chat over the garden fence like they used to.

South thinks HaloBiz has recreated the proverbial social garden fence space of our grandparents’ day in the virtual online world. It’s now back to being easy for people to find their next business supplier according to their own interests and values.

“Does providing what the public want mean we’re ‘socially innovative’?” asks South “. What do you think?