People often warn you about going into business with friends, Jade Tang says, but she reckons teaming up with good friend Eddy Helm was the logical choice to make.
“We share the same values and vision, and we have really complementary skill sets. And ending the day with a glass of wine, sharing the good times and the tough times – I couldn’t think of anyone better to start a social business with.”
Nine months ago, Tang and Helm started Curative, a creative agency specialising in design and communications. The agency works only with non-profits, community groups and social enterprises, and its clients include Oxfam, Live Below the Line, Rainbow Youth and FairTrade Auckland.
"Curative can help you with everything from websites and social media to design, copy-writing, fundraising and event management."
Tang and Helm met while running yMedia, a project matching design and communications students with non-profit organisations. Students were given eight weeks to develop and run a communications campaign for their organisation – all while being mentored by an industry professional.
While Tang said they enjoyed what they did, they realised it was never going to provide them with a career. So they began searching for more financially sustainable model. It took a year of “contemplating and co-conspiring” to get Curative off the ground.
The business helps clients build their profiles and connect with their communities.
“We hope to drive efficiency, break communications barriers, engage communities and help influence and progress social change in New Zealand.
“We see Curative as being a thought leader in the social innovation and social entrepreneurship space in New Zealand, and a key case study of the 'new way' of doing business.”
In the short time it has existed, Curative has attracted more than 30 clients. “At just nine months new, we’re still finding our feet and defining what we want to be, but we’ve already achieved so much.”
But there’s more to come. “I see it going global,” said Tang, “global in its reach, but local in culture and practicalities.”
She said that while cultivating and growing Curative into New Zealand’s “leading social change agency” was what the duo was currently striving for, she was open to all prospects.
“I always keep my eye on what’s happening here and abroad, and if and when the right opportunity comes along, Curative will be ready to embrace it.”
This interview was originally published on Asia New Zealand Foundation »