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Social enterprise celebrates crowdfunding success

Thursday 7th November, 2019

Social enterprise The Cookie Project celebrates crowdfunding success and announces advisory board

Social enterprise The Cookie Project is excited to announce its first public crowdfunding offer has officially closed, with over $27,000 raised to help it provide further employment pathways for Kiwis with disabilities.

The new capital will be used towards more efficient equipment and marketing resources, which will prepare the business to scale up and deliver on increasing product demand.

Since its inception in June 2018, the social enterprise has provided over 900 hours of paid employment to Kiwi bakers with disabilities - all with a purpose of breaking down social stigmas, demonstrating the value of those with disabilities to society and the disabled themselves.

Currently available in six New World stores in Auckland, The Cookie Project products are set to launch across all 26 Trade Aid stores, as well as at Pic’s Peanut Butter World in Nelson in November. The social enterprise is also a certified supplier on New Zealand’s first and only social procurement platform, fwd.

Co-founder Graeme Haddon says, “We never expected to receive so much demand from retailers and consumers from all over the country. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported our crowdfunding campaign so we can increase efficiency in our kitchen and create more employment opportunities for Kiwis with disabilities.”

This milestone also marks the establishment of The Cookie Project’s advisory board, featuring fellow social entrepreneur and Eat My Lunch founder Lisa King, CEO of Disability Connect Mike Potter, New World Metro Queen Street owner Steven Yin and seasoned businessman Rob Campbell.

Campbell says, “A good community gives its best to all members of the community, and gets the best from all. When people are excluded or marginalized from the community, we fail in this. The Cookie Project shows how this can be solved in an innovative way - by simply doing the right thing.

“I like to promote inclusion across my business interests. By participating in The Cookie Project, I’m learning from the best how to ignore exclusion and change the world one bag of cookies at a time,” Campbell concludes.

Co-founder Eric Chuah says, “As our social enterprise grows, and particularly in light of the new funds we’ve raised, we believe it’s crucial to maintain transparency and ensure strong governance, efficient use of investment and overall social impact. We’re excited to welcome these purpose-driven industry leaders to our advisory board to ensure this remains a reality.”

Earlier this month, both Graeme and Eric were named as recipients of the 2020 Kiwibank Local Hero Medal, and winners of this year’s Geneva Pillar Industry Award.


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