The firm is offering pro bono legal advice to the top five SheEO 2020 New Zealand Ventures
Russell McVeagh is lending a hand to international women’s business network SheEO by providing a pro bono legal advice package to the top five SheEO 2020 New Zealand Ventures.
In line with SheEO’s spirit of “radical generosity,” five women-led businesses were named by the network to be the recipients of significant support, which also includes “interest-free loans for five-years, business mentoring and the expertise of a global network of women,” Russell McVeagh said.
Corporate partner Catherine Shirley-Brown will be assisting the winning ventures, which are as follows:
- AWWA: Founded by Michele Wilson and Kylie Matthews, the Auckland-based business offers sustainable alternative to menstrual products with latest fabric technology period proof underwear
- Goodbye SANDFLY and Goodbye OUCH: Founded by Becky Cashman in Kerikeri, the business offers certified natural products that protect the skin outdoors
- Jobloads: Founded by Gisborne-based Candice Pardy, the business provides a digital solution that enables collaboration and reduces frustration when people work together on temporary jobs
- Kiri Nathan Ltd: Founded by Auckland-based Kiri Nathan, the business is the first Māori fashion industry to focus on community, ethical practice and cultural integrity
- Nisa: Founded by Elisha Watson in Wellington, the business is an organic cotton underwear label that employs women from refugee backgrounds in its studio and workroom
SheEO founder Theresa Gattung highlighted the diversity of the top five ventures – three of which were founded by Māori wāhine. She also acknowledged the ventures from areas like Gisborne and Northland.
“I honestly thought it would be too difficult to have a venture round this year, with everyone so distracted and in many cases completely unsettled through COVID-19, but we started weekly SheEO calls via Zoom and the community grew and strengthened,” Gattung said. “Even during our level four lockdown we had activators signing up across New Zealand because of Kiwi women’s belief in the value of our network and wanting to support women-led ventures.”
The network’s New Zealand arm has raised $906,000, and Gattung said that the outflow of support shows that “you don’t have to go it alone in business, women from all walks of life, doing amazing work are here to help.”
In addition to the pro bono advice package for the winning ventures, Russell McVeagh will also be conducting seminars on important legal topics for SheEO’s activators over the year.
“SheEO is a dynamic and innovative community, and one that Cath and I are proud to be part of,” litigation partner Polly Pope said. “Pip Greenwood started the firm's pro bono partnership when SheEO launched in New Zealand, and we are excited to continue her legacy and this work with the next generation of female entrepreneurs.”
SheEO received a total of 54 venture applications for this year’s venture round.