Brabners partners with Foundervine to empower under-represented & minority founders of Tech start-ups

12th May 2021, 5:16 pm

Leading independent law firm Brabners has reaffirmed its commitment to championing equality, diversity and inclusion with the launch of a legal knowledge accelerator in partnership with social enterprise Foundervine.

The new legal accelerator programme will help digital and tech start-up founders from underrepresented and minority backgrounds across the UK as they look to grow their stakeholder and peer networks, overcome barriers to scale and expand their operations.

Set to begin this month (May), the accelerator will provide comprehensive legal masterclasses and operational training, helping to build founders’ acumen in a wide range of areas including equitable involvement, funding and investment, commercial operations, asset protection and achieving successful outcomes and exits.

The six-week programme will also deliver dedicated one-to-one support, community-building initiatives and networking events, with an initial cohort of 25 early-stage founders taking part.

Foundervine is a social enterprise specialising in digital start-up and scale-up accelerator programmes, with a focus on nurturing entrepreneurs from diverse groups. To date, Foundervine has supported more than 2,000 founders in developing skills to accelerate their ventures.

The partnership reinforces Brabners’ commitment to driving long-term positive change in the communities it supports, including issues relating to equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) through its EDI committee, Together Action Group.

The number of start-ups in the UK is rapidly growing, with more than 670,000 new companies incorporated in the UK in 2019, double the number launched in 2017 according to the House of Commons Library. But just five per cent of the UK’s small businesses are led by someone from an ethnic minority group, despite 13 per cent of the UK population belonging to a black, Asian, mixed or other ethnic group, according to the 2018 Race Disparity Audit.

Many start-ups operate at risk, without access to the legal advice needed to help scale their businesses safely, an issue substantially more pronounced for those whose founders are from underrepresented backgrounds.

Nik White, managing partner at Brabners, said: “Whether it’s in relation to innovation, sustainability or diversity, we’re committed as a business to improving the world around us, which is why we’re taking action to help to bridge the gap for entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups.

“Foundervine is a truly game-changing enterprise led by an incredible team, and their values for empowering tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are closely aligned to our own. We’re proud to partner with the team and look forward to driving lasting positive change together.”

Piers Dryden, head of Brabners’ technology sector team, added: “The UK is home to a burgeoning ecosystem of world-class innovators, and at a time of economic and cultural reset, it’s vital we nurture this pool of exceptional talent, and provide skills, resources and support to help them achieve their ambitions.

“Many founders setting out on their journey have limited access to legal advice to help scale their businesses effectively. These challenges are only compounded for founders from diverse communities, which is why we are taking direct action to provide support to the next generation of business leaders.”

Cecil Adjalo, director of operations at Foundervine, said: “It was clear from our first meeting with the team at Brabners that diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the firm. Their commitment to bringing about positive change via the legal profession and dedication to supporting ventures looking for the skills and expertise to scale at pace speak for themselves. We’re incredibly pleased to work alongside the team and will draw on their extensive experience to accelerate the future of many inspirational leaders from underrepresented communities.”

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