Frank Lab 2021 accelerator program to focus on female-led growth businesses

Frank Lab 2021 accelerator program to focus on female-led growth businesses

Frank Lab 2021 will focus on female-led businesses, as part of their initiative to provide dedicated support and assistance to women working in startups and to reduce barriers to entry for women in growth businesses.

Applications for the program opened yesterday, 8 March, to coincide with International Women’s Day.

When Hall & Wilcox put a call out for applicants to their first Frank Lab, they were surprised to discover that 95% of the initial applicants were from male-led startups. This prompted the question, ‘Why aren’t more women involved in the startup sector?’

Hall & Wilcox spoke to members of the startup ecosystem and reached out to the firm’s broader network to understand the reasons for the gender gap and how to address this. Their findings were published in a report, ‘Spotlight on women in startups’.

The report identified the need for a targeted and tailored support program that catered to the unique needs of women. The Frank team at Hall & Wilcox has now put together a program of masterclasses and support that specifically targets key concerns for women working in startups (as documented in the report) including: overcoming imposter syndrome, becoming investor ready and (for that matter) pitch ready.

As well as being able to participate in the program of masterclasses, a successful applicant to Frank Lab 2021 will:

  • receive an initial $5000 to spend on legal services and get to work with an experienced lawyer as their own trusted legal advisor for the duration of the program;
  • have the opportunity to regularly meet with their Frank Lab Trusted Advisor who will assist them in identifying their legal needs and achieve their commercial objectives;
  • be able to access to Hall & Wilcox office space nationally and the firm’s Smarter Law technology solutions; and
  • be introduced to Hall & Wilcox networks, including accountants and investors.

Studies show that the key offerings of the program – providing access to training and advice and access to our networks – can prove instrumental to the success of female-led business.

To be considered for Frank Lab 2021, each business applying for the program must be female-led, where ‘female-led’ is defined as a business:

  • majority owned by women (50% or more); or
  • with a majority of women in the senior leadership team (50% or more).

Now in its third year, Frank Lab, Hall & Wilcox’s accelerator program for emerging businesses provides legal support and networking opportunities to help selected startups grow their business. Applications are open until 30 April, and the six-month program kicks off on 1 June.

Partner Jacqui Barrett said, ‘I could not be more delighted that Hall & Wilcox is offering a Frank Lab program focussed on female-led business. It forms a critical limb of our ‘Women in startups’ initiative. We are committed to using this program and our related initiatives to help female-led business survive and thrive in the startup sector.

Jasmine Koh, Lawyer & Head of Frank, said, ‘We see tremendous value investing in women-led initiatives, and are committed to meaningfully address the findings in our report, ‘Spotlight on women in startups’, through working with this cohort.’

To apply, please click here.