Morena – here is an answer from one of our Advisors, who can’t get on the platform right now to respond (our IT issues!), but wanted you to have this: from Chibuiike Emmanuel

Hi

I may still need further clarity to understand the full nature of your business to give you enough context.

But in the meanwhile let me start by saying do not make a permanent decision on a temporary situation. Unless in the first instance there wasn’t a sustainable business model behind your venture – something that you can exchange value for ,get paid and make a profit from an appropriate market size .

The flip side of the coin also is that if you become a full blown non-profit that you may lose several funds as well that are dedicated to for profit ventures.

I do understand that it is hard for for-profit business to raise funds but there may grants and facilities that may help you through the teething phase (as a role of the thumb however you need to show that you have skin in the game and have aptly put in your own resource). I know because I have gotten grants for for-profits -with a social or environmental mission at its core (will share more about this )

If you started off as a ‘business’ , this may mean that at your core you aren’t originally intend to function as a non profit. Hence I will advise that you look at a social enterprise model. Please see the document from the link below :

https://www.dia.govt.nz/pubforms.nsf/URL/Legal-entities-for-social-enterprises.doc/$file/Legal-entities-for-social-enterprises.doc

You may pay more attention to
– Charitable trust boards (which is even apt for people that don’t want to pull out profit from the venture so leans towards the non profit model)
and
-Limited liability Companies

The intersection of business and social good will continue to converge more in the coming years.

An instance is my newest start-up which craters to underserved smallholder farmers. Even though we are a for profit social enterprise, we are sure that we may not make profit for a while because of the peculiar nature of the space we operated in and our business model. It will even take a while to achieve certain milestones in order to be considered investible by investors.

Some people have asked us why we are not a non profit because it seems easier to compete for grants at this time . The answer is that eventually it may get back to bite us because we may not be very sustainable in the long haul .We also know that down the road we will need heavy sized investment tickets to fully build out our proposition and scale rapidly. But we have got our first grant (a small grant) and now at the final stage of getting another grant that may run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So there are now funds targeted at social enterprises even for profit ventures. I do know some in the global space and we can research together to find out the ones specific to New Zealand (please let me know)

Thank you for all that you do for your community .Please do not give up.

Best,
Chibuiike