Launching the Gender Lens in Acceleration and Incubation Toolkit

Launching the Gender Lens in Incubation and Acceleration Toolkit

Evening the playing field for gender in incubation, acceleration and entrepreneurship - a reflection on GLIA by Audrey Jean-Baptiste.

At the Asia Venture Philanthropy Network South East Asia summit in mid February, we launched the Gender Lens in Incubation and Acceleration toolkit, an interactive resource for accelerators and incubators (intermediaries) to consider how we can make our work more accessible and inclusive of all genders. By being deliberate about this, as intermediaries we can use our unique position of power to drive gender equitable change in the world around us and increase our impact.

Why is it important for intermediaries to consider gender within the work that we do?

At present, entrepreneurship is an uneven playing field. In entrepreneurship ecosystems around the world, access to opportunities and resources, as well as being respected and heard, can vary depending on your gender. Often unconsciously, gender biases are influencing the way in which we make decisions, from how we’re distributing our investments to how we’re creating and delivering our programs, products and services. More often than not, these gender biases disadvantage women, and has meant that women, women-led ventures, and ventures that support women and girls, still don’t have the same opportunity to succeed. 

This means that we’re still not realising the full economic and impact potential of entrepreneurship.

As intermediaries, we hold a unique position of power. We work directly and deeply with entrepreneurs, as well as the ecosystem that supports them. This means that we can put strategies in place to level the playing field for all genders within our organisations and programs, as well as influence ecosystem players to consider gender within their work, and founders to consider it in how they’re building their ventures.

How can we as intermediaries use our power to drive gender equitable change?

We can do it directly by creating equal access to our programs and organisations to all genders, and fostering an inclusive environment that responds to their needs and unlocks their skills, experience, and potential. The GLIA toolkit provides guidance for how we can go about identifying gender related issues within our work, and provides example strategies and frameworks that can be contextualised to address these. 

As intermediaries, we can also play a role in bridging the demand and supply of capital towards entrepreneurship that drives gender equality. This can for example include increasing the investment readiness of women-led ventures, and providing deal flow for gender lens investors.

We can also do it indirectly by influencing the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem in our respective regions to consider gender within their activities, whether it’s our government’s policies or our investors’ investment theses, to promote larger-scale change.

What does it mean that ygap has been involved in this work?

It was important for this toolkit to be developed by intermediaries for intermediaries, for it to be truly valuable and practical. At ygap we recognise the importance of considering gender within our work as an intermediary as a key way for us to achieve our impact goals. We also see gender equality as a fundamental human right, and this is why we saw value in developing the GLIA toolkit. It is a first of its kind resource, that we hope can start supporting intermediaries in being deliberate about considering gender within their work. 

At ygap, being deliberate about applying a gender lens to our work is what led us to create the yher program, an accelerator program that champions women-led impact ventures and adapts our proven curriculum to meet the specific needs of women founders. We developed the GLIA toolkit as part of DFAT Innovation Xchange’s Frontier Incubators program, in partnership with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s Asia Women’s Fund. It was developed over a 12 month period and was extensively tested by incubators and accelerators (see here) to refine and validate its content.

We look forward to seeing how this work is embraced and used by the sector going forward.

Access the GLIA Toolkit

Building Bridges report- addressing the barriers faced by Refugee Entrepreneurs

Building Bridges Report - Addressing the barriers faced by refugee entrepreneurs

Supporting Refugee Entrepreneurs in the Victorian Start-Up Ecosystem

In 2019, the ygap Australia team was commissioned by LaunchVic to compile a report addressing the barriers facing refugee entrepreneurs in accessing support networks and resources in the Victorian ecosytem.

From this co-designed research and our work with diverse communities, we know that one of the big challenges is that there is not enough support, especially in the idea and validate stages, for migrant and refugee entrepreneurs.

And because at ygap we are all about solutions, we are extremely proud to present this report just after our launch of the First Gens 2.0 pre-accelerator in partnership with Catalysr and funded by Launch Vic which has been developed to bridge the gap between the ideation, validation and growth phases for migrant and refugee enterprises so that they can grow and thrive in the ecosystem.

Read our Building Bridges report here by following the link below:

Read the Report

ygap joins ANDE global network

ygap joins ANDE global network

Propelling impact ventures in emerging markets

ygap is pleased to announce it has become a member of the Aspen Network of Developing Entrepreneurs (ANDE). ANDE is the peak network for organisations working to support Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) in emerging markets. ANDE has over 290 members working in over 150 countries and have supported more than 90,000 small and growing businesses to date.

Small and growing businesses in emerging markets are crucial to job creation, providing localised solutions to local problems, stimulating long-term economic growth, and producing environmental and social benefits. ANDE represents a best practice network of organisations using accelerator principles to assist in the support of SGBs across the world. 

Within the wider scope of SGBs sit a more focused group of impact ventures; businesses that centre their core business around creating impact. Where SGBs support development outcomes in emerging markets through increased economic growth and employment, ygap’s unique value proposition is in the support of early stage ventures that are also working to actively transform their communities at a social level. 

Since 2013, ygap has run 46 accelerator programs supporting more than 500 early-stage impact ventures across Kenya, South Africa, Bangladesh, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Becoming a member of ANDE underlines ygap’s commitment to continual improvement and excellence in our impact work. 

‘Becoming an ANDE member means we become part of a global ecosystem of support for impact ventures through networking, partnerships and collaboration opportunities.’ says Simon Lee, ygap’s Head of Global Programs. ‘ANDE is the global peak-body for supporting impact ventures around the world. An ANDE membership provides ygap access to the best resources, support and networks in the space, allowing us to improve the support available for the early-stage impact ventures in our accelerator programs.’

Day-to-day, engagement with the ANDE membership will include capacity building through training programs and  learning labs, knowledge sharing on impact metrics and assessment, and contributing to the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems. It also means that ygap’s knowledge and expertise is being shared with the wider ANDE network, including ygap’s innovative  work on gender and impact measurement.

ygap Newsletter - September 2019

ygap Newsletter - September 2019

Note from our CEO

Hello ygap Community!

To date, we have supported 532 impact ventures across Africa, Asia, the Pacific and here in Australia and through them, have positively impacted the lives of close to 1M people experiencing poverty.

Through our work, we learned that one of the root causes of violence against children is poverty.

Tomorrow is the official launch date of our Polished Man Campaign, sixth year running, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work of the team and their efforts.

It is through the commitment of the thousands of Polished Men and Women that we are able to continue to deliver the work that we do and help the most vulnerable members of our community, children.

Show your support by spreading the word, donating and signing up to the Polished Man 2019 Campaign.

From the impact arm of our work, we are thrilled to announce the successful completion of the third First Gens Program. This means 36 refugee and migrant-led social impact ventures have now gone through the program and are growing their impact for the local communities here in Australia. 

This Thursday, 3rd October, we will see the most recent First Gens cohort take the stage and pitch their start-ups, to not only celebrate their progress but also for their chance to win a cash prize on the night. 

I invite you to join us for this inspiring evening held at Goods Shed, Docklands, Victoria, where we will also have a really exciting announcement about the future of the program – RSVP your spot here.  

As always, I thank you for your ongoing support and until next time, we will be right here Backing Local Change. 

Manita Ray 

Support ygap

Together We Can End Violence For Good

We believe in a world where no child suffers from violence, because it shouldn’t hurt to be a child, and we all have the power to change this. 


Thanks to your support in 2018 we raised $1,701,764 and were able to channel these funds into trauma prevention and recovery programs for children who are at risk or have suffered violence.


Tomorrow is the official launch of Polished Man 2019 – help us make this Polished Man the biggest ever by signing up to polish a nail and take part at

Support Polished Man

You Are Invited to the First Gens Showcase Event

First Gens, as many of you may know, is our program specifically designed to support migrants and refugee-led ventures here in Australia which are creating positive social change for their communities. 


You will hear from 12 inspiring social impact entrepreneurs pitch their early-stage ventures and ideas – to not only celebrate their progress but also for the chance to win a cash prize on the night. 


These individuals have committed their lives to create the social change they believe is necessary in our world, and we are backing them every step of the way. 


In addition to hearing these inspiring stories, we are very grateful and looking forward to having an impressive line-up of speakers taking the stage; Kate Cornick, CEO of LaunchVic, Judy Anderson, CEO of Startup Victoria, Jess Colgan, Director of yimpact, and Usman Iftikhar, CEO of Catalysr.


There’ll be plenty of time to network, however, spots filling up fast go ahead and reserve your complimentary seat for a feel-good evening not to be missed


RSVP via the link below.

Team Update - yher Pacific Program Manager- Talei Goater

With ancestral roots planted in Fiji, Talei has spent two decades managing multifaceted creative projects across New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. 

Her immersion into the region’s social enterprise ecosystem began twelve years ago when she established a community-led textile label and then managed the first Pacific Islands presence at Australia’s Fairtrade Fortnight. 

Advocating profit for purpose ventures, blending traditional commerce, ethical trade and climate-friendly thinking into a stimulating tonic for positive change, Talei’s passion for the development of values-led business is evident in every part of her being. 

We are thrilled to have such a talent on our team to pioneer the yher Pacific Program at such a critical time in the Pacific Islands.

Where are they now?

Jane Khou – Bring Me Home


It is estimated that in Australia, 44 million tonnes of food are wasted annually, costing approximately $8 – 10 billion per year. When food waste ends up in landfills, it generates large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas more detrimental to the environment than CO2.

It has also been reported that 3.6 million people in Australia have experienced food insecurity in the last 12months. Alarmingly, of the 652,000 people who receive food relief from Food Bank agencies every month, 27% are children. 


Bring Me Home is a platform that connects cafes and restaurants that have an excess amount of food, that would otherwise be thrown away, to potential customers who are interested in purchasing food at non-traditional eating times at discounted rates.


Bring Me Home’s founder, Jane Kou, joined the ygap family in May 2018 as a First Gens Program participant when her startup was just an idea under development. ne year later, Bring Me Home has rescued over 2500 meals from going to waste, serving thousands of active users and 100+ participating venues in Melbourne. They were recently listed in SmartCompany as one of the top 10 startups in 2019 and are in the midst of raising $1M to expand their operations and launch in Sydney by the end of the year. 

‘I want to take this opportunity to say – thank you. Thank you for offering your precious time connecting with me, supporting me, and most importantly, for believing in me.” – Jane Kou, founder of Bring Me Home, to the ygap Team. 

For the very first time, Bring Me Home is offering an opportunity for the public to invest in their mission-driven growing venture with an Equity Crowdfunding campaign .  If you are interested in becoming a shareholder of their mission-driven company fighting war on food waste – check it out!

Congratulations to Jane Kou and Bring Me Home – we are looking forward to seeing you pioneer the war on food waste!

ygap Newsletter - July 2019

ygap Newsletter - July 2019

Note from our CEO

Hello ygap Community, 


In July we ran our first Ending Violence Against Children Accelerator (evac). 


Poverty is one of the root causes of violence against children.  While we continue to work towards our vision of a world without poverty, we created evac to support some of Australia’s leading impact entrepreneurs who are dedicating their life’s work to ending violence experienced by children here in Australia right now. 


It is confronting to read the reality of the statistics about the rate of violence against children here in Australia. We are one of the more privileged countries yet the issue of violence against children continues to exist. Most when confronted look away – but we don’t and neither do our entrepreneurs. We try to do something about it in the way we know best. 


We have all been children. We all know a child, Some of us, like me, have a child. We know how vulnerable children are and we know that no amount of violence against children is okay. 


It was an honour to meet and support our evac ventures. We cannot wait to see their work grow in impact and one day see an end to violence against children.


Thank you also to everyone who supported our yher Appeal last month. This support enabled us to  roll out our first full yher Pacific Program


Thank you again for supporting the work that we do, until next time, we will be right here Backing Local Change.  


Manita Ray

Support ygap

The First Ending Violence Against Children Accelerator

Ending Violence Against Children Accelerator 

Society is measured by the way we treat our most vulnerable members. If that is the case, Australia is not measuring up. Before the age of 15, one in six girls and one in nine boys will experience sexual or physical violence. Violence against children takes many forms: including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and may take a more insidious form through neglect or deprivation. 

The impact entrepreneurs who participated in our first evac accelerator have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to ending violence against children through their ground-breaking approaches.

Hailing from New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and Victoria, these impact entrepreneurs are tackling this pressing issue from all angles.


  • Rachel Downie with Stymie – Audience Vote Winner



Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for people aged 15-44. 


Stymie is an anonymous, online reporting platform implemented in schools and made available to the community. The school receives anonymous messages from community members and students alike regarding children and adolescents who have suicidal ideations, been engaging in self harm, been sexually assaulted, and been bullied, or are at risk of harm. The team trained to respond develops an intervention based on the information received, disrupting the cycle of harm. 


  • Chris Boyle with Commsync Foundation



Over the last decade the number of child abuse cases reported to the child protection system across Australia have tripled.


CommsyncAlert has developed a wearable technology which transmits live audio and location at the touch of a button or in response to a voice command. This alerts pre-identified supporters to call triple zero or respond in the way they see fit. 


  • Liz Walker with eChildhood



Minors in Australia currently have unfettered online access to hardcore pornography. The increase in availability of pornography is related to a rise in child on child sexual abuse, mental health issues, sexual assaults, distortion of adolescent sexual scripts, child porn addiction, and online grooming.


eChildhood equips carers and supporters of children with a full understanding of pornography and its detrimental effects. eChildhood also provides age-appropriate strategies and offers guidance on how to best support minors negatively impacted by pornography.


  • Ashlee Crane with Jasiri Australia



One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15 and young women are more likely to experience physical or sexual violence than older women.


Jasiri Australia offers two main programs: Self Defence and Girls Takeover Parliament

(GTOP). The Self Defence Program offers a comprehensive curriculum consisting of martial arts, de-escalation techniques, and psychological awareness across five levels. It is both preventative and restorative, with a focus on psychological healing and community building. Upon completion of the course, participants are invited to join the GTOP program, Jasiri’s leadership initiative.


  • Brandon Friedman with Elephant Ed



98% of students have said they feel uncomfortable talking about sex education and many teachers are forced to teach the subject with little to no preparation or experience.


As an outsourced provider with an in-house feel, Elephant Ed eases the burden of maintaining comprehensive, relevant, and age-appropriate sex education in schools. Elephant ed is reinvigorating the stale sex education of the past in three key ways: engaging content, a lively delivery, and relatable people.


  • Dayna Russell with Restoring Hope



Before their 18th birthday, one in six boys and one in three girls will experience sexual abuse in Australia. When these boys and girls are first brought to the authorities, they often have their clothing and personal items removed for forensic testing.


While Restoring Hope recognises that they are not in the position to eradicate sexual abuse itself, they are able to provide immediate support and care to survivors. Restoring Hope provides crisis care packs to victims of sexual abuse which can enable them to begin their healing journey as soon as possible.

Find Out More About evac

yher Pacific Accelerator

After the success of the yher Appeal, our team in the Pacific launched the first fully-scaled yher Pacific Program in mid-july. Following an extensive recruitment drive, we selected 11 local female impact entrepreneurs from Fiji, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. 

Their impact ventures were chosen for their impressive contribution towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

After the program, Audrey Jean-Baptiste – ygap Program Manager and yher Facilitator – met with a number of the local Fijian and regional organisations to discuss how we can further collaborate to develop an accessible, inclusive and self-sustaining entrepreneurial ecosystem across the region. Audrey was also invited to represent ygap in the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) which is  Canada-funded project consultation on Catalyzing Women Entrepreneurship in Fiji. The four year project focuses on building a Gender-responsive entrepreneurial ecosystem, developing innovative financing mechanisms and creating an enabling environment for ICT-empowered women entrepreneurs.

These are really exciting times for the yher Program and for our continuing involvement in the gender space, for further information feel free to contact


Where are they now?

Our ygap impact entrepreneurs never cease to amaze us with the work that they do. This month we (re)introduce Louise Williamson, ygap South Africa 2017 Alumni, with her venture Sustainability Professionals whose most recent impact figures are definitely worth your attention!

The Problem

36% of the rural South African population relies on wood fuel for cooking resulting in 36,000 cooks suffering lung and eye diseases from the smoke.


Louise developed the Mashesha stove, which has three benefits:

  1. Burns with a clean hot flame halving the fuel and cooking time.
  2. Using briquettes made from waste cardboard reducing waste and pollution.
  3. Creating a simplified production of the briquettes allowing for work opportunities inclusive of people with disabilities.

Louise joined the ygap South Africa Program in February 2017 and received a $25,000 growth grant in January 2018. She set herself a benchmark impact figure of 40 lives, which has grown by a landslide amount of 1150%, impacting 500 lives at the most recent reporting period.

“ygap was the first business accelerator I attended and I really appreciated the assistance with fast-tracking on learning how to set up a business model, learn how to pitch, and most especially how generous ygap was with sharing success stories and failures of entrepreneurs so that we could learn from their experiences and guidance.’’- Louise Williamson

ygap Newsletter - June 2019

ygap Newsletter - June 2019

Note from our CEO

Hello ygap community,

It is with great honour and gratitude that I mark my first 12 months as CEO of ygap. It has by no means been an easy year  (we don’t do easy at ygap!) but together with my incredible team and our partners, we are ready to charge in to the new financial year. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to ygap as we continue to expand and grow our impact in the regions that need it most. We are so proud of the achievements over the past year and look forward to sharing our annual impact report with you shortly.

Many of you would have noticed, we ran our first program based fundraising appeal with an ambitious goal of raising $150,000 towards the launch of the yher 2019 global Program.

This was the first time that we asked our community to support one of our impact programs and we are so grateful to see a strong commitment raising $143,433 for the emerging female leaders in developing regions.

It has also been full steam ahead in all other areas of our work:

  • We ran our third First Gens accelerator in Seymour, with 12 impressive migrant and refugee founders tackling local problems in their communities. 
  • We recruited six of the most promising social impact ventures which are focused on ending violence against children for our first  evac (ending violence against children) accelerator in July
  • We brought the entire impact team, board and impact committee together to start our work on our strategy for the next few years. 
  • We have just wrapped up the first part of the Gender Lens Incubation and Acceleration Toolkit Pilot, where 6 intermediaries from across SEA  appointed Chief Development Officer; Victoria Cosgrove, Campaign Manager; Carolyn Dimech; and Events & Ambassador Manager; Georgia Prescott.

Thank you for being on this journey with us! Until next time, we will be right here Backing Local Change.

Kind regards,

Manita Ray

Support ygap

Our Third First Gens Accelerator

After a thorough selection process, we recruited 12 of the most promising social impact entrepreneurs for the third First Gens Cohort.

It is a unique opportunity to see 12 individuals from all walks of life; different backgrounds, ages, genders and dreams, coming together under one roof to tackle some of Australia’s most prominent problems.

Their visions and ventures ranged from focusing on water sanitation to financial literacy, to employment opportunities. 

These inspiring entrepreneurs showed us the power of unity and collaboration as we dove deep into their business models. As much as we were the facilitators for them, they all worked in a peer to peer feedback and review model, proven to be the most powerful approach for redefining business models focused on social change.

The entrepreneurs have now been matched with mentors as they enter the support phase of the program in preparation for the Showcase Event later this year.

For more information on the First Gens Program, upcoming events and how you can be involved contact

First Gens 2019 Gallery

Our Third First Gens Accelerator

The Ending Violence Against Children (evac) Accelerator has been specifically designed to support social impact ventures focusing on trauma prevention and trauma recovery programs for children who are at risk of or have suffered violence.

Through supporting close to 500 entrepreneurs, we have learned that the entrepreneurs within the same sector, leverage from shared experiences, challenges and learnings. By creating an environment where they all come together in a peer-to-peer accelerator model, they have the potential to further strengthen their ventures.

We found six of the most powerful ventures in this sector for our first evac program:

We invite you to meet these entrepreneurs at our ‘Showcase’ on July 18th, to hear about the powerful work that they are leading in ending violence against children here in Australia.

Follow this link for more information about the event or contact with any questions you may have.

Meet our Newest Team Members!

What are we looking forward to this month…

– The yher Pacific team will be uniting in Suva, Fiji, talking to our local partners about the upcoming delivery of the program and other collaborative development projects.

– Our first ever evac Accelerator running mid-July facilitated by a long-term ygap friend and internationally renown superstar, Louka Perry!

– Simon Lee, our GM of Impact, coming home from holidays. #HurryUp

ygap’s yher Appeal - Empowering Women, Ending World Poverty.

ygap’s yher Appeal - Empowering Women, Ending World Poverty.

Opportunities should not be determined by your geography or gender. However, the reality is that two out of three girls are denied an education and of the available funding for businesses around the world, only 3% goes to ones founded by females.

The cherry on top of this disappointing collation of statistics for us was when the World Economic Forum recently released the fact that at this rate it will take 108 years to achieve gender parity and in the mean-time, the global economy is losing trillions of dollars every year.

Men and women are impacted differently by poverty, likewise, they respond differently when receiving an income - with women reinvesting 300% more into their families and communities than their male counterparts.

After spending the last ten years running over 45 accelerators around the world with a gender-neutral approach, our intention was not to discriminate. However, with recent research indicating that this “gender neutral” approach in the social sector underserves women in patriarchal societies - paradoxically, women were still missing out on opportunities.

Go figure.

So at ygap, instead of just talking about this injustice and gap in opportunities, and waiting for someone bigger than us to create this change, we did something about it by launching yher.

yher is a female-focused program that is specifically designed to find the most promising emerging female leaders in developing regions and empower them with access to training, mentorship and access to funding so that they can grow their social impact.

We knew that by investing in women, there would be a significant flow-on effect for societal change in their communities.

During the yher pilot phase in 2017-2018, our team received an overwhelming 847 applications confirming the demand for the program and we went on to support 63 emerging female leaders across Africa, the Pacific and South Asia addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

One of of the women who applied to our yher program was Muzalema Mwanza who had developed a social impact venture, Safe Motherhood Alliance, ensuring safe conditions for mothers and their babies at the time of childbirth.

With the SubSaharan region being the home of 50% of the world’s infant mortalities due to unsterile birthing environments, Muzalema recognised that these were preventable deaths in her community and she couldn’t simply stand by and allow them to happen.

With the development of her home birth kit, Muzalema has not only offered training and employment opportunities, she has also assisted in delivering over 1,000 babies. That’s one woman impacting over 1000 mothers and their babies, and she has only just begun her social impact journey towards a world free of avoidable deaths related to childbirth.

She had a solution to a local problem, all Muzalema needed was someone to find her, believe in her and back her. This is just one social impact entrepreneur’s story of the success that comes with backing local change, there are 453 more stories just like this at ygap.

Unanimously across every benchmark, nations that educate their women and girls end up being more successful in two ways - one being basic fairness and decency, the other being large social and economic returns.

It’s a no-brainer: empower women, end world poverty.

Support us in rolling out the global yher program, by donating before June 30th our cornerstone partner will triple the impact of your donation.


#WorldRefugeeDay - Recognising the Strength, Courage and Resilience.


#WorldRefugeeDay is an opportunity for all individuals, groups and organisations to take a moment to recognise the strength, courage and resilience of the millions of refugees around the world.

In 2018 we had the privilege of meeting an inspiring man by the name of Hedayet Osyan (pictured below), a refugee from Afghanistan whose long journey to Australia was full of horrific hurdles.

Hedayet participated in our First Gens Program where we saw his passion and strength in creating employment opportunities for other refugees and migrants through his successful and growing social impact venture - Nick's Tiling. 

"When I was in Afghanistan I hadn’t this freedom and in here I have everything. There’s massive opportunity for every people, there’s equality, there’s freedom and the life is really easy here.

"I’m really happy and I really appreciate the Australian Government, the Australian people who saved my life and I’m always trying very hard to give something back to Australian people, that’s my responsibility because they saved my life." 

As the human race evolves, we are unfortunately witnessing the highest level of displacement on record with 68.5million people forcibly displaced around the world because of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.

This is three times the population of Australia.

Here in Australia, where 28% of our population is born overseas, we don’t do nearly enough to raise awareness of the strength of migrant and refugee entrepreneurship, nor do we encourage people from other countries to start ventures here, or help them develop skills to build wealth for themselves and the community through self-employment.

Multiculturalism is about diversity, which in turn is about better creativity and decision-making. In order to attract more innovative ideas and grow our nation, we need to share the stories of the migrant-led business, to inspire aspiring migrant entrepreneurs and the broader community.

This is where a program like First Gens step in.


One of the most beautiful moments for us in facilitating the First Gens program for migrant and refugee-led social impact ventures, is when we have the privilege of witnessing a group of individuals from all different cultures, backgrounds, ages and genders, sitting together under one roof collaborating on how to best approach some of the local challenges here in the country.

Australia’s biggest point of difference in the global arena is its multiculturalism. When we all realise that embracing migrants and refugees isn’t just the right thing to do, but it is also a competitive strength in global business, innovation and entrepreneurship, that is the day when the local communities will win and the world will be inspired to unite as one human race.


Her Story - Saving over 19,000 victims of abuse.

Her Story - Saving over 19,000 victims of abuse.

Once upon a time, a young girl in South Africa witnessed her father assaulting her mother on a daily basis.

When this little girl grew up, she experienced the same violence in her married adult life.
This woman's name is Lebo and in a good week, she was beaten four to five times.

When Lebo learned about the rape of a local eight-year-old local girl by six men who infected her with HIV, she became determined to stop the cycle of abuse and help women and children living in dangerous households in her community.

In 2007, Lebo launched the Mothotlung Network providing shelter and counselling to victims of gender violence.
ygap discovered Lebo in 2013 when she was running a small operation depending on government and private donations.

She didn’t believe she could scale her operations and impact, setting herself a goal of supporting 100 women and children.

ygap saw the potential for so much more.

To date, thanks to her determination, resilience and ongoing support from ygap, Lebo has been recognised internationally by leaders like Barack Obama and has gone on to change the lives of 19,345 women and children in her community.

Lebo had a solution to a local problem, all she needed was someone to believe in her and back her.
This is just one entrepreneur’s story of the success that comes with backing local change, there are 453 more stories at ygap.

ygap needs your help to support the launch of yher, a program specifically designed to support female-led social impact ventures, just like Lebo’s.


ygap Newsletter - May 2019

ygap Newsletter - May 2019

Note from our CEO

Hello ygap Community,

We are so excited to share our first yher Appeal. with you

Each donation we receive before June 30th will be matched 3 times the value by a generous benefactor. A donation of $250 will be matched to $750. Please help us to achieve our goal of $500,000. 

This appeal is critical to support and lift those experiencing disadvantage with long term sustainable solutions.  – it will help make a reality of ygap’s vision to secure funding to roll out our yher program across Africa, South Asia and the Pacific, which seeks to empower emerging female leaders.

We know that female-led ventures generate deep social impact.
We know that female-led ventures are proven to be profitable, sustainable and scalable.

Yet even today, female-led ventures are not considered to be a serious investment and last year, attracted less than 2.2% of the $85bn venture capital funding available. This number is even smaller for social impact ventures founded by women.

yher is changing this.

yher is creating an equal platform and voice for female-led ventures so they are afforded the same opportunities as their counterparts.

Ending poverty is a complex issue and requires all of us to be involved, yher empowers 50% of overpopulation to step up into the arena.

We need $500,000 by June 30th  – and you can help make this happen. 

Please support her to create a better us here today,  donate to the yher Appeal today. 

Kind regards,
Manita Ray

Donate Now

The yher Appeal is a dialogue, not a monologue

Getting involved in conversations about gender inclusivity and equality can be really uncomfortable, we worry we might say the wrong thing and encounter some serious judgement. So we stay silent.

But if we think that movements like #MeToo #HeForShe or #yher are going to make the world change, whilst the majority of us remain silent; we are wrong.

So, for this appeal, we ask for everyone’s voice to be involved, to build a better world together, for her, for us, for everyone.

Because our sisters and our daughters around the world deserve better, and we can do better, so we must do better.

We need the help of men, women and people of all genders behind this movement.

Help us by forwarding this email on to your network and share your support for a better world for her, us and everyone.

Make a Donation

yher Pacific with DFAT and the United Nations

By invitation of DFAT and the United Nations, we ran a workshop discussing inclusivity for everyone in The Pacific with two key objectives:

  1. To engage stakeholders from all around the region in a discussion on the role of innovative entrepreneurship in sustainable development.

  2. To test and develop a framework for building an innovative eco-system across the Pacific with strategic partnerships.

A key highlight of the experience was a collaborative discussion on female empowerment between our yher Program Managers, Audrey Jean-Baptiste and Millicent Barty, with the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Sanaka Samarasinha.

For more information contact Audrey Jean-Baptise.

The Future of Refugee Entrepreneurship

In partnership with LaunchVic, we had the opportunity to facilitate a co-design session on the Future of Refugee Entrepreneurship in Victoria.

After spending the past 18 months supporting migrant and refugee social entrepreneurs across the state with the development of the First Gens Program, it was a really incredible opportunity to collaborate with other stakeholders to better understand the space we work in.

With the support of city councils, community groups, accelerators, and the refugee and migrant entrepreneurs, we have identified opportunities to further strengthen and develop the refugee entrepreneurship ecosystem within our own country.

For more information contact Simon Lee.

Are You the Face of Polished Man 2019?

Our Polished Man team is delighted to announce we are looking to crown someone PM for 2019 and become an official ambassador for this year’s campaign.

Pre-registrations are now open so we are encouraging everyone to sign up now and they will be first in the know for all the exciting developments, including how you can receive two complimentary premium tickets to this year’s Polished Man Gala.

Sign Up Today

evac - Applications Close June 9th

We believe it is our moral duty to do absolutely everything we can to ensure the safety and care of our most vulnerable members of society; children.

We are currently looking for ventures tackling the issues of bullying and cyber-bullying, mental health, trauma prevention and recovery.

Our complimentary program is designed to maximise the social impact of these ventures and protect the vulnerable members of society.

For more information contact Adelide Mutinda.

Support Her to Create a Better Us

Once upon a time, a young girl in South Africa witnessed her father assaulting her mother on a daily basis.

When this little girl grew up, she experienced the same violence in her marriage where she was beaten four to five times.

When this abused girl, turned woman, learned about the rape of a local eight-year-old local girl by six men who infected her with HIV, she became determined to stop the cycle of abuse and help women and children living in dangerous households in her community.

This woman’s name is Lebo and in 2007, she launched the Mothotlung Network providing shelter and counselling to victims of gender violence. 

We discovered Lebo in 2014 when she was running a small operation depending on government and private donations.

To date, thanks to her determination, resilience and ongoing support from ygap, Lebo has been recognised internationally by leaders like Barack Obama and has gone on to change the lives of 19,345 women and children in her community. 

Lebo had a solution to a local problem, all she needed was someone to believe in her and back her.

This is just one entrepreneur’s story of the success that comes with backing local change, there are 453 more stories at ygap.

That is why we back emerging female leaders, this is why be back her.

Support her to create a better us

What are we excited about for in June?

  1. Seeing the support from our community for the yher Appeal.
    We are calling on schools and businesses alike to get involved and help us raise the funds needed. For more information email:
  2. Running our First Gens Accelerator 10th-14th June.
    The cohort is, as always, really impressive! If you want to know more about the program contact
  3. Choosing the first group for evac!
    This is such an exciting program, we are so thrilled to be able to offer this to our community. For more information contact 

On a Personal Note…

A very sad farewell to Bob Hawke, our 23rd Prime Minister, and personally for me he was Prime Minister when I arrived in Australia at 10 years of age. He did some amazing things as listed in this great short article including introducing Medicare and outlawing gender discrimination in the workplace.

He will be missed, but not forgotten.