On 3 May 2015, the new crowdfunding platform "OksigenCrowd" was launched. OksigenCrowd allows social enterprises to attract public financing. Social enterprises are those that use commercial strategies to pursue social objectives.
OksigenCrowd is an initiative of Oksigen Lab with the support of the European Commission. The purpose of Oksigen Lab is to support and increase the impact of social entrepreneurship. The new platform provides an additional source of financing to social enterprises, which often find it difficult to attract funding through traditional channels.
The project is still in the pilot phase, with five social enterprises listed, one of which is Boobs-'n-Burps, a breastfeeding specialist. NautaDutilh (Elke Janssens and Virginie Ciers) advised SI² Fund (which belongs to the same group as Oksigen Lab) when it invested in Boobs-'n-Burps. The pilot phase should be completed by the end of this summer.
NautaDutilh Belgium was responsible for conceiving and implementing the platform's legal structure.
In the past, we also advised MyMicroInvest in preliminary discussions regarding the establishment of its crowdfunding platform and Aka Music on the set-up of a music crowdfunding platform.
Crowdfunding is increasingly seen as an alternative to traditional forms of financing. It is expected that the applicable regulatory requirements, which are still much more restrictive in Belgium than in neighbouring countries, will become less stringent in the future.