Vazilegal, the African startup-focused law firm, has launched UnHacked—a program targeted at raising support for women-led startups in Africa.
That figure is much lower for African female founders. For instance, only 10% of west Africa-focused startups with at least one female co-founder has successfully raised $1 million or more in the last decade. As Benjamindada.com reported, less than 15% of the funds raised by Nigerian startups in 2020 went to companies with female founders.
In a release announcing the program, the Vazilegal stated that the under-representation of women in the list of venture-backed startups hit closer for it when it considered its client list. This is because funded startups are better able to afford proper legal advice.
It also pointed out that women often got the short end of the stick with deals. "What is even more jarring is when startups led by women eventually come to us, it is not uncommon that they are coming because they have already signed a bad deal – which could have altogether been avoided with the proper legal guidance. As people, this does not sit right with us especially as an all-women law firm," the comapny added in the release.
Vazilegal has taken steps to help mitigate this gap in funding by launching UnHacked+. The program is a follow-on from last year's UnHacked, in which which it gave out cash gifts and free legal advisory to women-led startups.
UnHacked+ will provide access to all-year fundraising, strategic and legal support to women-led startups. The tech-focused law firm will be using its unique position in the startup ecosystem to connect female founders to potential investors and other relevant stakeholders.
UnHacked+ is scheduled to run every year, and will provide the following for handpicked startups:
- Low-bono legal advisory
- Access to investor networks
- Workshops on negotiating with investors
- Introduction to strategic partners
- Opportunities for visibility
The company is also working to provide discounted Public Relations services, financial advisory and technical capacity building to startups led by women.