Cliff Colquhoun

Cliff Colquhoun

Founder of Community Business and Environment Centre (New Zealand)

Operating since 1989, CBEC is one of New Zealand’s most diverse social enterprises, operating in one of our most socially and economically challenged regions. Much of CBEC’s success has come through community joint ventures with iwi, other social enterprises and the private sector.

Cliff describes himself as a ‘Practical Visionary’, driven to improve the wellbeing of his community, utilising business skills to build resilient Community Enterprise.

Cliff has proven that Social Enterprise can become an essential element of a healthy local economy.

He is the Founder of CBEC with the organisation being key to establishing two national networks, Community Recycling Network and Community Energy Network.

The practical consequences of Cliff’s broader vision for the sector has seen CBEC establish trading and Joint Ventures throughout NZ, with other Social Enterprises, the Private Sector and Local Authorities.

Cliff is driven by a philosophy of improving community wellbeing that will come from achieving zero waste and zero unemployment, unrealistic? Or are we only limited by our own imagination.

CBEC is a cooperative society, with limited purpose and charitable status. It has an annual turnover of $3.7 million and 54 employees. Its trading arms include a native tree nursery and garden centre, a recycling centre, a public bus service, home insulation services, solar power installations, labour hire and contracting services, public swimming pools, loop de loop cycle hire and marquee hire.