Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD

First Nations non-alcoholic craft beer company in $1 million equity raise


6 October 2021 at 4:06 pm
Nikki Stefanoff
"We chose to go the equity crowdfunding route because it’s accessible to everybody. My hope was that it would draw more First Nations people into wanting to be part of the journey.” 


Nikki Stefanoff | 6 October 2021 at 4:06 pm


0 Comments


 Print
First Nations non-alcoholic craft beer company in $1 million equity raise
6 October 2021 at 4:06 pm

“We chose to go the equity crowdfunding route because it’s accessible to everybody. My hope was that it would draw more First Nations people into wanting to be part of the journey.” 

Indigenous-owned non-alcoholic beer company, Sobah, has closed its equity raise after hitting its $1 million goal 10 days earlier than expected. 

Almost 600 investors were involved in the raise, via equity crowdfunding platform Birchal, with a high number of Indigenous investors, something that was important to co-founder, and Gamilaroi man, Clinton Schultz.

Schultz told Pro Bono News that when he and his wife and co-founder Lozen were first thinking about raising investment they had a lot of private interest. However, they chose to crowdfund because they wanted First Nations people to have a chance to invest. 

“Not a lot of our mob have spare money floating around to throw out into the share market,” Schultz said. 

“We chose to go the equity crowdfunding route because it’s accessible to everybody. My hope was that it would draw more First Nations people into wanting to be part of the journey.” 

Schultz’s plan worked with a high number of First Nations people jumping on board.  

“We also got so many non Indigenous people, which is awesome too,” he said. 

“In my mind, we’re now playing a role in decolonising the 500 non-Indigenous folk who’ve chosen to invest in this First Nations business that runs from the First Nations perspective with those philosophies and values.” 

The rise of Sobah

Based in Kombumeri Country, as part of the Yugambeh language region also known as Queensland’s Gold Coast, Sobah is first and foremost an Indigenous-owned and led business. 

The social enterprise was launched in 2017 by Schultz and wife Lozen after Schultz became sober and was unable to find something decent to drink that was non-alcoholic. 

The business works to raise independent funds to help support work in the drug, alcohol and mental health space, particularly with at-risk youth. 

Leaning on his training as a chef, his passion for First Nations’ culture and health, and his knowledge and love of Australian native food, Schultz began crafting his own non-alcoholic beer. His “bush tucker” infused beers, which used Aboriginal ingredients like lemon aspen, finger lime and pepperberry, were an immediate hit. 

What started as a one-keg side hustle out of their native food truck business, quickly became the stuff of legend amongst Gold Coast locals and the Schultz’s realised that there was a gap in the market for a good quality non-alcoholic beer. 

In the four years since it launched, Sobah has gone from being poured into “bring your own containers” from the back of a truck to being stocked in Coles and Dan Murphy’s in Australia and available in New Zealand with Hong Kong and Singapore next. 

How the investment will be spent

The speed at which they hit their $1 million investment goal surprised Schultz as well as his extended family, who have had to join the waiting list for new investors. 

“I kept telling them that we were going to hit the goal and they needed to be quick,” Schultz laughs.  “Now they’re on a waiting list!” 

The funds raised will go towards building a new brewery, a cafe, getting salespeople out on the road and expanding on the work Schultz and Lozen do from a cultural and wellness perspective within the community. 

As well as being a chef and a business owner, Schultz is a trained psychologist with a PhD in First Nations health and, for him and Lozen, Sobah exists to raise awareness and give support to the Sobah community. 

“I’ve worked in the drug and alcohol space for a long time and worked as a psychologist for 12 years. I could see that the way we’re taught to approach mental health is very Westernised,” he said. 

“That approach doesn’t work for groups of people from a more collective society as it doesn’t take into account the importance of culture and tradition. There are other organisations that look at ‘healing’ differently and they struggle to get financial support — we want to be able to help support them.”  

The dream for the business 

Schultz’s dream for the business is for it to be the biggest, most respected non-alcoholic beverage company in the world. 

“I want to succeed not for self-gain but because I understand that as a business we’re a social enterprise at heart, and the bigger we get, the more money we make and that means we can do more good work,” he said. 

“I can do way more with a million dollars than I can with, say, $100,000.” 

Find out more about Sobah, here. 


Nikki Stefanoff  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Nikki Stefanoff is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

What does it take to rejuvenate a declining rural community?

Matt Pfahlert

Wednesday, 6th October 2021 at 5:10 pm

Brisbane picks up the baton for Social Enterprise World Forum

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 5th October 2021 at 5:09 pm

Victoria launches new social enterprise strategy

Nikki Stefanoff

Tuesday, 5th October 2021 at 3:44 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×