ygap accelerator

About the program:

The ygap Bangladesh Accelerator Program helps ventures to refine and validate their business model, move towards financial sustainability, and grow the impact that they are having in their community.

Ventures that complete the ygap Bangladesh Accelerator Program expand their ability to increase revenue, create employment opportunities, secure further investment, and make a real difference in the communities they operate within. 

What it looks like:

The ventures we select begin by attending a live-in capacity building bootcamp where their business models are strengthened, they meet cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs, and they are equipped with the tools they need to grow.

After the bootcamp and after conducting a needs-assessment, our team of local experts provide ongoing accountability and business development sessions, strategic and operations coaching, masterclasses and webinars, access to catalytic grants, on-site business development sessions, and brokered linkages to mentors, customers, advisors, and other players within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Who we're looking for:

  • Ventures that have already launched and are currently operational. In most cases, participating ventures must be formally registered and proof of this status will be required (unless this is not applicable to where your business runs).
  • Ventures that are post-revenue and able to provide evidence of commercial transactions. 
  • Ventures that clearly recognise and desire the benefits and value of participating in the ygap program. ygap invests deeply in the ventures we support, and expect the same level of dedication and investment in participating in the ygap program.
  • Ventures that have a social or environmental focus. Through the operation of the business, ventures must be working toward  making their community, their city, or their country a better place. 
  • Ventures that are “local” to the issue they’re solving, intimately connected to their community, passionate and committed, and it for the long-haul.
  • Ventures that have a unique element to their business. It could be a unique product or service offering, a unique production method, or a unique business model.

Applications for the 2021 program are now closed.

Since 2008 ygap has:

run47programs

supported541impact ventures

impacted the lives of 1,295,411people

Case Studies

Saif Rashid, Founder of APON

Apon is addressing inequalities in Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) sector. Apon takes an innovative approach in leveraging economies of scale to reduce the market cost of essential goods and services for low-wage earners. These cost reductions range from food to household commodities to healthcare. This reduction in living costs means a higher take-home rate for workers, relieving the pressure of day to day life and enhancing wellbeing.  Apon was part of the 2018 ygap Bangladesh accelerator program, and has since experienced significant growth in revenue and impact.

Sarwar Hossain, Founder of Biofil

Biofil is an environmentally friendly, and affordable way to address the issue of poor sanitation in peri-urban and rural areas of Bangladesh. The Biofil Toilet uses an innovative technology leveraging natural processes to compost human waste, minimizing the environmental and health impacts of pit latrines that are still widely used throughout the country. Biofil partners with NGO’s, who purchase the toilets and installs them in  communities to use for free. Biofil was part of the 2017 ygap accelerator program and has since impacted the lives of approximately 50,000 people.

Arif Md. Waliullah Bhuiyan, Founder of Light of Hope

Light of Hope is making education accessible to schools without adequate access to electricity through a range of innovative educational resources. Light of Hope provides engaging classroom resources, along with teacher training to provide students with a holistic learning experience. Light of Hope came through the 2016 ygap Accelerator program and has gone on to impact the lives of over 200,000 children.

FAQs

Have a question about the program? Check out our FAQs first to see if we’ve answered it. If not, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to answer any question you have.

ygap believes that business is a powerful lever for change in the world. That’s why our Accelerator Program is designed to support locally-led, early-stage ventures focused on creating positive impact in their communities. 

The ygap Accelerator Program helps these impact ventures to refine and validate their business model, move towards financial sustainability, and build on their ability to create change in their communities. Participants of this program will expand their network by joining a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs, and will receive technical support and advice from our team of local experts that is tailored to the specific needs of their venture. We are committed to supporting the growth of locally-led impact ventures who have shown the drive, talent and conviction to create change in their own communities.

Ventures chosen for the ygap Accelerator Program will graduate with: 

  • A proven and validated Theory of Change
  • Proof of product-market fit with a clear value-proposition for key customer segments
  • A validated business model that verifies the desirability, the feasibility and the viability of the business
  • Detailed financial statements including income statements and cash flow statements
  • Proven growth traction demonstrated through data across key metrics 
  • A reasonable and viable 12-month growth plan with a clear plan of action, quarterly milestones and projections

We expect that ventures who complete the ygap Accelerator Program to increase their revenue, create employment opportunities and secure further investment, thereby making a real difference in the communities they operate within.

The ygap Accelerator Program works firmly at the validate stage of the entrepreneurship value chain and supports ventures with the following eligibility: 

  • Must have already launched and be currently operational. In most cases, participating ventures must be formally registered and proof of this status will be required (unless this is not applicable to where your business runs).
  • Must be post-revenue and able to provide evidence of commercial transactions. 
  • Must have an element to their business that is unique. It could be a unique product or service offering, a unique production method, or a unique business model. 
  • Must have a social or environmental focus. Through the operation of the business, ventures must be working toward  making their community, their city, or their country a better place. To validate the positive impact that the venture is making, we align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Must be “local” to the issue they’re solving, and intimately connected to their community. Growing an early-stage impact venture is hard, so we want to ensure that the team behind the venture is passionate and committed to solving the problem, and is in it for the long-haul.
  • Must clearly recognise and desire the benefits and value of participating in the ygap program. ygap invests deeply in the ventures we support, and expect the same level of dedication and investment in participating in the ygap program.

ygap’s success as an organisation is embedded within a unique combination of skills, expertise and experience. 

Our program works:

Since 2008, ygap has successfully delivered over 50 entrepreneurship programs across Africa, South Asia and the Pacific Islands which have supported more than 550 early-stage impact ventures. Over this time, ygap has continued to iterate and improve its approach to supporting early-stage impact ventures, and today has a proven and internationally-renowned program methodology.

Provision of Practical, Hands-On Knowledge

The ygap program does not teach out of a textbook, nor does it provide theoretical concepts. We offer real-world and relevant support that early-stage ventures can easily apply to improve their own businesses to improve strategic direction and operational management. 

A Willingness for 1:1 Support & to “Be in the Trenches” with Ventures

No business is the same, no business model is the same, no entrepreneur is the same, and so the support we provide to the ventures in our programs can not be the same. Our expertise comes from rolling up our sleeves and getting into the trenches with the ventures we support. After running over 50 programs, we know the deep 1:1 technical assistance and business development support is the most impactful.

Local Expertise & Knowledge

We have local offices with local team members who are social entrepreneurship and development experts with a deep understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in which we operate. As a result, our local teams are capable, committed, connected, and able to provide appropriate support within the local context.

Backed by an International Community 

The knowledge of our local teams is complemented with our global network of entrepreneurship experts, hailing from across Africa, South Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia. This network of experienced practitioners means that our Accelerator Program not only benefits from deep local context, but the breadth of global collaboration.  

Commitment towards Accessibility & Inclusivity 

With an international reputation as a leader in gender, diversity and inclusion (GDI), all components of the program are carefully considered through a GDI lens to ensure that our programs are inclusive, accessible and equitable to all, regardless of gender, race, or religion.

The ygap Accelerator Program works because it is tailored to what it means to run a business in Bangladesh. That means, our Bangladesh based team has the local context, knowledge and presence to support ventures in their entrepreneurial journey. In addition, our global team runs this Accelerator Program in different places around the world, meaning we have the benefit of expertise and insights with peers globally.

Since 2008, ygap has successfully delivered over 50 entrepreneurship programs across Africa, South Asia and the Pacific Islands which have supported more than 550 early-stage impact ventures.

We can only accommodate one founder per venture for the live-in capacity building bootcamp, however, the support phase is open for all founders to participate in.

No, it is not as a requirement of the program.

Have a question about our accelerator?

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