GrowthAfrica is now a TrustLaw Referral Partner. TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal programme that works with high impact enterprises that are creating social and environmental change. With this partnership, impact ventures that have gone through GrowthAfrica’s acceleration programmes can apply to TrustLaw to receive pro bono legal support from TrustLaw’s global network of law firms and corporate legal teams.
As an entrepreneur, you are faced with a myriad of legal issues during phases of establishing and scaling your business. When you were setting up, you may have struggled with the nature of business structure- should it be a sole proprietorship, partnership or a limited liability company. In case you had co-founders, maybe you did not know how to structure the shareholding and responsibility of each person. When it comes to IP (Intellectual Property) you had minimal knowledge of what it entails. These challenges are just a dip stick of some of the issues.
As your venture moves in the growth stage, legal issues such as employment, contracting of suppliers, new laws and regulations affecting the sector you operate in, statutory document requirements, expanding to other countries among others come up. When the time is right for fund raising or investment, drafting favourable partnership, funding and investment agreements become a challenge.
Faced with these challenges, why then don’t many entrepreneurs seek legal advice or services? Many entrepreneurs will focus their efforts on the development and growth of their business, the legal process tends to be expensive and complex and few are willing to navigate these complexities. Entrepreneurs often overlook the business’s legal needs which may have serious and expensive consequences if not addressed. These are the legal gaps that TrustLaw will bridge.
GrowthAfrica’s entrepreneurs matching the profile of ventures supported by TrustLaw can now apply for legal support from TrustLaw on:
- Structuring (selecting the right legal entity for the impact enterprise)
- Staffing (employment and volunteer agreements)
- Advocacy (research on laws)
- Funding contracts (drafting partnership and funding agreements)
- Intellectual Property and brand protection (Trademark registration, copyright, patents and licensing).
The organisation also runs a series of workshops, webinars and other capacity- building initiatives to provide practical guidance on these legal issues. GrowthAfrica and TrustLaw are discussing how they can bring some of the events to the entrepreneurs in GrowthAfrica’s network.
For more information on TrustLaw visit www.trust.org/trustlaw/