Program Snapshot

Are you a woman leading an emerging business in Fiji’s tourism industry? Aiming to create positive social or environmental impact with your venture? You’re eligible to apply for our yher Sustainable Tourism Accelerator!

The Accelerator includes a week-long, live-in bootcamp and 6-month support phase, tailored assistance fusing mentorship, masterclasses, site visits, micro-grants and market participation opportunities – including digital payment solutions and participation at the Fiji Tourism Expo.

Join a dynamic cohort of 12 like-minded women entrepreneurs and access skills, knowledge, connections, micro grants and community, essentials to help your business grow.

To apply, please complete and submit your application before FJT midnight, Saturday 31st  December 2022. 

Apply Now

Why Sustainable Tourism?

As Fiji reopens post Covid-19, there is a unique opportunity to shift the paradigm – together, we can help level the playing field and create a more inclusive, impactful tourism sector.

Travellers are indicating that they want more responsible, sustainable tourism options and key stakeholders across Fiji’s tourism sector are following suit. 

However in a sector dominated by large and international players, launching and scaling a business in Fiji’s tourism sector can be challenging. Even intimidating. This is why we’ve teamed up with our fabulous friends at Talanoa Treks, building on our flagship yher program to incorporate tourism-specific modules, activities and connections.

During This Program You Will:

Connect with a dynamic cohort of 12 like-minded women entrepreneurs, shifting the paradigm in Fiji’s tourism sector.

Attend a live-in bootcamp, an immersive learning experience equipping you with knowledge, skills and community.

Access mentorship, masterclasses, site visits, micro-grants, connections and participate at the 2023 Fiji Tourism Expo.

Who Are We Looking For?

  • You’re a woman entrepreneur: we believe the solutions to today’s toughest challenges are entrepreneurial, and that women are the most powerful levers for change in our world. 
  • You’re operating a tourism venture in Fiji: you are passionate about creating positive social or environmental change and operate business in Fiji’s tourism industry. 
  • You’re in your early-stages: you will have fully developed or launched your tourism venture and can demonstrate early traction or proof of concept. Your intervention should be innovative and unique, and will typically have been in operation less than two years.
  • You’re contributing towards the Sustainable Development Goals: your venture addresses one or more of the sustainable development goals. If a core part of your business model exists to create environmental or social impact then that’s even better. 
  • You have a big vision: you may be starting small but you’re keen to grow your venture and scale your impact.
  • You want to connect and grow: you’re eager to learn from, share and connect with likeminded women entrepreneurs from across Fiji and beyond.

Our Alumni

“I have come out of my shell, to lead and run meetings, and manage a team – now, I’m confident! I will always acknowledge ygap. Because of you, I am doing this. I give credit to yher for letting me think outside the box. I want to see how far I can go with business, [be a] role model and motivate young women entrepreneurs. For the big big help of yher program I’m grateful.”

Ana Malamuvatu – Kavalicious Taveuni – 2021/22

“This program empowers woman! For me, yher has really helped me to be confident with my products. Especially when signing agreements with companies, I’ve learnt how to be confident and stand my ground. Thank you for empowering us women to take that leap and extend our small business.”

Linda Andrews – Haven Skincare – 2021/22 

“When I was invited to be part of the yher, I knew very little of what was in store for me but also how it would help our venture. That week took us to a whole new level of understanding about who we were but also what we could potentially become. Thank you yher for believing in our dream. It is fast becoming a reality.”

Fanny Fiteli – Mama’s Mushrooms – 2019

Program Partners

We are currently onboarding an array of generous industry partners – stay tuned!

Our work in the Pacific Islands has included 4 yher Accelerators, working alongside 33 trailblazing women entrepreneurs in Kiribati, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga creating positive social and environmental impact for their communities.

Talanoa Treks is an impact enterprise, Fiji’s only dedicated hiking company. Working alongside remote communities, their adventurous trips connect travellers with authentic, locally-led experiences that aim to enhance cultural heritage and the environment.

What Makes Us Different

It’s simple. We truly believe that change is driven by impact focused businesses and we want to see women running bigger and better ventures. We are entrepreneurs ourselves. We’ve started highly successful social enterprises, run global campaigns and accelerated 626 startup impact ventures across five countries. We have also been the first to invest in some game-changing startups in Kenya and South Africa.

We take you through a tried and tested curriculum designed specifically by women, for women. We take a holistic approach to our program, accelerating not just your venture but you as an entrepreneur, ensuring you have the tools, techniques, courage and tribe of women supporting you to handle the roller coaster journey that is life as an impact entrepreneur.

FAQs

Have Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to email our team on pacificislands@ygap.org

General

A Business Accelerator is a program that gives early stage ventures access to the skills, knowledge, connections, funding, community and other types of support they require to become sustainable and scalable. They often are fixed in duration and cohort-based.

We believe that business can be a force for good, and that entrepreneurship is key to solving the most challenging social and environmental problems facing our world today. Which is why the yher Accelerator works with women-led ventures aiming to create environmental or social change – aka positive impact!

A business working within Fiji’s tourism industry. Some examples are businesses providing accommodation, tours, activities and experiences, transfers and travel, venues for conferences, workshops or weddings, facilities for special events/ conventions or destination weddings. 

When we refer to a sustainable tourism business, we are seeking entrepreneurs aiming to create positive environmental or social change through their tourism venture. For inspiration and examples, check out our friends at Duavata Sustainable Collective.

ygap is our parent organisation. ygap Pacific Islands is our locally-led regional hub, under which we run a portfolio of entrepreneurship programs. And yher Pacific Islands is one of our flagship programs, specifically designed to advance women entrepreneurs.

ygap exists to increase the capacity and agency of entrepreneurs to run successful businesses, and reduce the barriers that inhibit access and inclusion within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Since 2008, we have run 65 programs that have supported 626 ventures working to make change in their communities. We have offices led by local specialists in Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands. yher is ygap’s women focused program, which adapts ygap’s proven model to back the most promising women-led impact ventures in the regions we operate in.

Our 23/24 program will be open to 1-2 additional countries in the Pacific Islands region – we can’t wait! To stay informed, join us on Facebook.

Eligibility

This year, our yher Accelerator is open only to women entrepreneurs in Fiji. We especially welcome iTaukei women entrepreneurs to apply for this program. 

Yes you can! Having a team is just one of the components we look at when making our selection decision. Your team could consist of family, friends, neighbours or anyone you trust to lend a hand with your business. If you haven’t found that great team yet, that’s okay (as long as you see value in eventually building your team). Remember, it’s impossible to build a large, successful business all on your own. 

Absolutely! The program will be taught in English, so we do require a level of English proficiency. However, for those who prefer to learn in Vosa Vakaviti or Fijian Hindi, Support Facilitators will be available. Please be sure to select your preferred learning language in your application.

As best as possible, please ensure you have a strong internet connection, try loading from another computer or device and if you are still having problems, please send an email to pacificislands@ygap.org and we can send through a soft copy of the application via email.

Yes! If you are operating a tourism venture in Fiji we would be absolutely delighted to have you apply – we can’t wait to see what you have achieved since your last submission! It would be advisable to read the eligibility criteria well to ensure that you meet the specifications for this Accelerator program. 

Having revenue shows us that people are willing to pay for the product or service that you have created or are providing – this is “proof of concept” If you don’t have revenue yet, it is up to you to get creative as to how you can show us that your venture is selling or building something that fulfils a need.

Unfortunately no. Our upcoming Accelerator is designed for women-led businesses operating within Fiji’s tourism sector.

Yes, you can, however only one woman founder from your team can take part in the program.

Unfortunately, no. We strongly believe in the power of local leaders with close proximity to local problems, so we are looking to support ideas by locals on the ground.

Unfortunately, no. We strongly believe in the power of local leaders with solutions to local problems, so we are looking to support ideas by locals for locals.

During the live-in bootcamp, we can only accommodate one founder per venture – you’ll need to decide which of you is best placed to attend. During the support phase, there will be opportunities for you to nominate a 2nd member of your business to attend masterclasses and other activities – for example, a co-founder or a member of your team.

Unfortunately, no. We are looking for ventures (they can be non-profit, social enterprise or for-profit) aiming to create impact through your business model, and not just an accidental by-product.

Yes, you can. We understand that getting a new venture off the ground can take time, and that you may not yet be making enough money to support yourself and your loved ones to work on it full time. That being said, we do expect our successful applicants to be working on problems they are passionate about and are aiming to work on their venture full time as soon as is feasible. Our program can help you get there sooner.

Program Specifics

Our upcoming program starts in February 2023.

Yes, you will need to attend a live-in, one week bootcamp in person in February. The reason we deliver part of our program in person is that we want you to be able to immerse yourselves into the program, and take the time to reflect on your business, along with other trailblazing women entrepreneurs.

You will also need to participate in the Fiji Tourism Expo (6th-8th May 2023), an exciting opportunity to connect with local and international industry stakeholders.

Thanks to our phenomenal donors and partners, the yher Accelerator is free of charge to take part in. The Accelerator includes a live-in bootcamp and participation in Fiji Tourism Expo, during which accommodation and selected travel costs will be covered by ygap – travel scholarships are available for those coming from remote areas.

As a program that aims to foster an equal platform for women to launch and grow their businesses, we want our programs to be as accessible and inclusive as possible. If you have any family-related requirements, please let us know at the interview stage.

Post Program

Your yher journey doesn’t end at the end of the program. You become part of our alumni and continue to benefit from our network of mentors, investors and other alumni. We also love to hear from our entrepreneurs and share the impact that their ventures are creating!