News On Purpose
In this Issue
- 2023 Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Awardees
- Ensuring No Woman Delivers in the Dark
- Lex Mundi Recognized at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
- Unleashing the Full Potential of Scientists Worldwide
Access Afya is a data-driven primary social enterprise delivering easy and affordable healthcare to residents of Nairobi’s informal settlements through a chain of micro-clinics, diagnostic centers and pharmacies.
Founder Melissa Menke started Access Afya to disrupt the unsafe, informal health sector operating in slums, replacing it with healthcare that is convenient, affordable and effective. To achieve its mission, Access Afya has developed and implemented technology solutions to support their operations, automate patient conversations, measure clinical and operational excellence, and increase quality improvement through a digital training academy.
Access Afya came to the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation seeking advice on the best corporate structure to achieve its social mission while attracting capital as they prepared for a Series Seed funding round. By connecting Access Afya with Lex Mundi member firm Womble Bond Dickinson LLP (USA, North Carolina), the Foundation was able to secure critical pro bono legal support for Access Afya at a pivotal juncture. Not only did Kristina Schwartz, the attorney leading the firm’s efforts, help with the corporate conversion initially flagged, she and her colleagues at Womble went above and beyond to advise on a new corporate structure and set up Access Afya for fundraising success. Kristina’s efforts were supported by her Womble partners Jane Jeffries Jones on employee benefits matters and Mike Cashin on tax matters.
“Kristina from Womble helped me set-up a Public Benefit Corporation, which makes it clear to our investors and team members that we are committed to achieving social returns through our business,” said Menke. “Her advice on this structure was instrumental in us going down this path and Kristina helped me every step of the way – from incorporating our Public Benefit Corporation, to creating an employee stock option plan, to negotiating with investors and closing our Series Seed equity raise. As a social enterprise you can’t always afford to have someone strong on your side, which I was lucky enough to have in Womble Bond Dickinson because of the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.”
“It is a privilege to work with committed social entrepreneurs like Melissa,” said Schwartz. “We really collaborated on the most effective way to approach Access Afya’s restructuring and capital raising, always keeping the integrity of the company’s mission front of mind. It’s a great result when you close the round and both the investors and the company are satisfied and just eager to get to work on growing the business. I think that happened here and we at Womble are thrilled to have had the opportunity to help move the business forward.”
In this Issue
The 14th Annual Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Awards were announced during the 2023 Lex Mundi Connect + Collaborate Annual Conference in San Francisco on Thursday, May 4, 20023. These awards honor Lex Mundi member law firms that provide critical pro bono legal services – helping to strengthen the global rule of law, support the global social entrepreneurship movement, and improve lives, the environment, and communities around the world.
This guidance responds to specific questions OFAC received related to earthquake relief efforts in Syria and explains how to provide legitimate humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people in compliance with U.S. sanctions.
In This Issue
Lex Mundi has been awarded a Catalyst Business Commitment badge at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, following the work of the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation to support social enterprise.