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

Frank Lab 2021 will focus on female-led businesses, as part of our 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 open today, 8 March, to coincide with International Women’s Day.

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

We spoke to members of the startup ecosystem and reached out to our firm’s broader network to understand the reasons for the gender gap and how to address this. Our 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 our program – providing access to training and advice and access to our networks – can prove instrumental to the success of female-led business. We look forward to being able to share our knowledge and use our networks to create opportunities for our successful applicants!

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 15 May, 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.’


Melinda Woledge

Melinda Woledge

Marketing & Communications Manager

Melinda is the Marketing & Communications Manager. She is responsible for the external and internal communication strategy.

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