Good Morning. To deal with your last question, ‘is there funding that could help with setting the tone/story/direction for the market’ – the short answer from what I know (always learning) is that there is no ‘general funding’ for this type of expenditure unless you are currently receiving a benefit – then this scheme might fit – https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/self-employment-start-up-payment.html
If that is not a right fit for you – what other options do we have – first, I would try and do some market testing and insights yourself, to confirm there is an actual interest in your target user base for these shifts you want to make, test your assumptions, confirm your assumptions by talking to as many people as possible. That will either confirm or not that you ‘hunch’ is right.
Then armed with this data – if you have no money, what can you do? You can ask for help, you can do it yourself, you can barter with others for a transfer of value – and/or you can say ‘if this works I will pay you from the sales’ – there is a big freelance community out there who might be prepared to provide support on the basis of a payment later – so my guidance would be test the market, get some data, and then if you don’t have the funds, find a way to get the resources, support and just move one step closer/forward. Good luck. Andy