Dear ygap Community,

Only a short time ago, our team took a moment to collectively pause and ask ourselves if we’d set the bar too high. Is a world without poverty possible? The truth is, we don’t know. What we do know, is that we certainly could not look at someone who is living in poverty and say “this problem is too big, sorry we can’t help you”.

A world without poverty is the vision we have worked towards for the last 10 years. Our model gets stronger and more effective every year and we will continue to fight so as long as poverty and disadvantage exist.

I feel deeply honoured to step into the role of ygap’s CEO and it is a responsibility I take very seriously. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support, and to share with you the future vision and goals for ygap, along with some insight into the guiding principles by which I plan to support and lead its success.

So, what is our vision for ygap?

Our impact model is unique. Instead of imposing our own views and ideas on communities in disadvantage, we will continue to find local leaders who live and breathe these problems. They understand the nuances of the culture, politics and environment. They have their own solutions – and we back them. We are not the architects of the solutions – but we will continue to be the enablers.

We will continue to learn and evolve and strengthen our accelerator model and strive to become the global experts and accelerator of choice for entrepreneurs.

We will serve the complex needs of marginalised groups including women, migrants, refugees and Indigenous Australians through segment-focused accelerators.

We will pioneer targeted accelerators that address a country’s socio-economic growth needs and have the greatest impact in the fight against poverty including education, job creation, AgTech, and FinTech.

And, while today we have local teams on the ground in four countries and the Pacific, we know this is just the beginning. Our model is strong and it works. We are ready to extend our reach into tough new countries and into even tougher communitieswhere the issues caused by poverty are extremely complex. We are ready to find the local leaders holding the keys to the solutions. We know they exist because adversity breeds ingenuity. With the right support from ygap, the possibilities are limitless.

Finally, we recognise that even today, in the entrepreneurship startup space, female-led ventures are powerful, yet not given adequate and equal support. We will continue to work to lift female entrepreneurs so they have an equal platform to their male counterparts. The issue of poverty and disadvantage is complex and we need every brilliant mind working on this. We cannot sacrifice our goal by not investing in innovative and entrepreneurial solutions that come from 50% of our population – women.

 

Personally, I always have and always will continue to operate under three key principles:

* Make the hard decisions and take the big risks, if doing so will significantly improve the lives of people living in poverty and disadvantage and create sustainable and scalable impact.

* Invest in our people because our team are the engineers for tomorrow’s world.

* Create a world that is even better than it is today.

With this in mind, we will continue creating systemic changes to improve the lives of people living in disadvantage today, and equip them with skills for a better tomorrow. While often this work is challenging and might seem unseen, it is progress. And moving forward is always better than going backwards.

The communities that are the most disadvantaged and destitute, are those where systems and structures are the most fractured. Improving lives here takes time. Improving lives here means taking risks.

We will take this time and take these risks at ygap. Because when nothing else works, the power of social innovation and entrepreneurship does.

I look forward to sharing more exciting plans with you over the coming months. Until then, we’ll be here ‘Backing Local Change’.

Kindest regards,

Manita Ray

CEO, ygap

 

manita.ray@ygap.org

0413 162 645

LinkedIn

To date, we have run 37 accelerators and supported over 407 impact entrepreneurs to significantly change the lives of more than 600,000 people living in poverty.