A "wicked powerhouse of people" has come together to promote social enterprise in Whanganui, Nicola Patrick says.

She is one of seven on the Thrive Whanganui Trust set up in December last year. The charitable trust aims to get more social enterprises going. They are businesses that aim to have a positive social or environmental impact as well as revenue from trading - they don't maximise profit at the expense of people or the environment.

Last year Whanganui hosted a social enterprise expo in February, and planned another one later this year, Patrick said.

"There are lots of people asking for another one, and we really want to do one because it was so successful."


The trust is also holding two events on February 15, as part of La Fiesta.

In the morning, there's a workshop introduction to social enterprise.

In the afternoon, guest speaker Michelle Sharp, CEO of Kilmarnock Enterprises, will share highlights of the Kilmarnock social enterprise journey. She's a former corporate high flyer who now heads a Christchurch company that employs people with various levels of disability.

It started by making wooden toys and now has many revenue streams, including recycling electronic waste.

Both events are at Ngā Tai o te Awa, in Whanganui's Guyton St. Those wanting to attend can register on the Thrive Whanganui Facebook page - the trust's main communication tool.

The new Thrive trustees are chairwoman Sharon Bryant, a founding partner of technology investment company Movac and impact investor, Andre Taylor, the CEO of Ngā Tai o te Awa, Andrew Tripe, who runs The Hive, Natalie Sara, a Kiwibank business manager, Leonie Matoe, the Kai Tahi product manager for Ngā Rauru and Melita Farley the co-owner of Confluence and Double Farley.

The trust's three advisers are Kristen Hamling, who has a PhD in team wellbeing, Marianne Archibald, the CEO of the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce, and Shane Middlemiss, who has IT expertise.

The trust also has partnerships with three national social enterprise and community development initiatives which have yet to be launched.