We at Dignity, a New Zealand social enterprise, are grateful to receive pro bono assistance from Chapman Tripp.
Our organisation provides female sanitary items in the workplace, using a ‘buy-one give-one’ model. Under our model, employers pay a monthly subscription with orders sent varying in size and cost depending on the number of female employees. For each product ordered, an equivalent product is donated to an “at need” high school to support female students who may not have access.
Our current customers include ANZ, Flick Electric, Xero and Cigna. By supplying free sanitary items to their staff through Dignity, it has been found that their female employees feel 85% more personally supported in the workplace.
These organisations are also helping support 8% of New Zealand high schools to tackle period poverty. Since launching, we have donated over 6,000 boxes of tampons and pads to students in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch to help girls stay in school and focus on education.
Chapman Tripp’s Wellington Managing Partner Andy Nicholls says the firm welcomed the opportunity to support Dignity as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.
“We have been really impressed with Dignity’s strategy and commitment to supporting both women in the workplace and young women in New Zealand’s schools. We’re really pleased to have been able to help Dignity establish their business model and start to make a significant impact in the wider community.”
Chapman Tripp’s work was instrumental to gaining Dignity’s initial corporate partners. In particular, Chapman Tripp solicitor Tony Davis committed to understanding the buy-one give-one business model and provided tailored, practical legal advice to help write our terms and conditions.
Tony’s work on our term and conditions of trade were crucial for us understanding the legal framework of our business model and how to deliver a better product for our customers and the community.
We would encourage more law firms to consider pro bono work for social enterprises as the work can be both challenging and also critical to help these businesses get to market.
Jacinta Gulasekharam and Miranda Hitchings are co-founders of Dignity email@example.com