About yher

We know women are vibrant and vital architects of society.
We know women are the best levers for change in our world.
We also know female entrepreneurs need to be championed.

So far we have:

run2programs

represented6 Pacific Island countries 

supported 22 ventures

that have impacted 2,955 lives

Apply now for access to world-class training, funding and support for your venture.

Applications are now open for 2020 program

What is yher Pacific Islands?

yher supports game changing, women-led impact ventures that are improving the lives of people living in poverty across the Pacific Islands region. Our program provides the region’s most promising women entrepreneurs with access to the skills, knowledge, connections, funding and community they need to build sustainable and scalable ventures. 

It has been designed and is delivered by women entrepreneurs, for women entrepreneurs. yher leverages ygap’s proven model which has been developed by running over 45 programs and supporting more than 515 impact ventures globally. It has now been contextualised to meet the specific needs of our Pacific Islands women trailblazers.

The yher program is also being delivered across Africa.

Explore our yher Pacific Islands Hub

Testimonials

“I feel the best thing about yher was that it not only built my confidence but also helped me grow thicker skin. There has been a lot of setbacks after the program but that has not dampened my spirit or put me down but I now see that whenever I face a setback I feel more driven. And this is solely because of yher.”

Maria Varea – Talonoa Tanoa (2018 cohort) 

“Before yher I really had no idea about pitching because of yher I won two pitching events and I know for sure it’s because yher prepared me for them.”

Nakita – Tasty Kitchen Collective (2018 cohort)

“I really enjoyed the facilitators – how they delivered the week in such a simple way yet using very complex tools – tools that we would probably never ever get the chance to access as entrepreneurs in the Pacific.”

Courtney Kruse – Allied Print Design (2018 cohort)

The program

Our exclusive accelerator program aims to back female-led impact ventures across the Pacific Islands.

Our program runs in a number of stages:

Accelerate

You will begin your yher program journey by attending a one week immersive ‘accelerator’ experience in Fiji. Here, you will meet like-minded women entrepreneurs from across the region, and together go through an intensive week of training. This presents a unique opportunity for you to step out of the day to day activities of your business, and spend a full week working and reflecting on your business as well as focusing on yourself as a leader. By the end of the week, two entrepreneurs will also have been awarded funding. Your accelerator journey will be facilitated and supported by our local team as well as one of our global facilitators, all who are women entrepreneurs and are invested in seeing you succeed.

Support

After having spent a week deep diving your business under the palms of Fiji, you will return home energised and ready to start implementing your newly acquired ideas and insights. The yher team will continue to be there to support you. For 6 months, you will have access to monthly coaching calls, small grants, resources, connections and more.

Growth

And that’s not all. At the end of the support phase, we will work with the entrepreneurs who have made the most progress and have been the most engaged and proactive to apply for further funding from ygap. 

What's in it for you?

Training

You’ll participate in a week long intensive entrepreneurship program designed to fast track your early stage venture. The training and mentorship provided will help you nail your business model and prepare for growth. And you won’t be going through this training alone. You will be accompanied on this journey by up to 11 of the best women entrepreneurs from across the region.

High tea

At the end of the week long program, we’ll gather for an exclusive, invite-only high tea event giving you the opportunity to network with key players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and share your venture.

Funding

A total of $10,000 AUD in prize funding is awarded at the High Tea event to the winners of our peer review and audience votes. An additional $40,000 AUD total in grant funding or investment will be awarded at the end of the 6 month program between the two most promising ventures.

Support

Following the week long training, we provide your venture with six months of business support, tailored mentorship opportunities, perks from our partners, and access to small grants of up to $1,000 AUD. This package of support is designed to help you build a strong strategy for impact and growth.

Community

Beyond the training week, you will have the opportunity to connect with each other through our virtual community to keep each other inspired and accountable with monthly check-ins and knowledge sharing.

Connections

You will also get access to ygap’s global community, as well as the yher Pacific Islands network of mentors and partners

Why yher?How are we different?

It’s simple. We truly believe that change is driven by socially conscious 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 515 startup impact ventures across five countries, helping change the lives of 954,754 people living in poverty. We have also been the first to invest in some game-changing startups in Kenya and South Africa.

Thanks to our amazing supporters we are able to offer you this program for FREE. We’ll cover the cost of everything apart from your travel to and from the program (Scholarships are available for those that need them).

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.

Application Process

Apply online
2 March – 24 April 2020

Interview
4 – 14 March 2020

Offers made
18 May 2020

Accept offer

Book travel

Program starts in Fiji
18 May 2020

Who should apply?

Female-Led Ventures: You must have at least one female co-founder who will participate in the program.

Local: You intimately understand the problem that you are trying to solve in your community.

Social Impact: Your venture must exist to improve the lives of people living in poverty and align with one or more of the Global Sustainable Development Goals.

Support Women and Girls: We prefer ventures that have a clear mandate or mission to uplift women and girls in some way, however, this is not required.

In the Early Stages: You will have already fully developed, tested or launched your 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.

Female-Led Ventures: You must have at least one female co-founder who will participate in the program.

Local: You intimately understand the problem that you are trying to solve in your community.

Social Impact: Your venture must exist to improve the lives of people living in poverty and align with one or more of the Global Sustainable Development Goals.

Support Women and Girls: We prefer ventures that have a clear mandate or mission to uplift women and girls in some way, however, this is not required.

In the Early Stages: You will have already fully developed, tested or launched your 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.

Apply Now

FAQs

Have a question? 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.

General

An accelerator program 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.

A social enterprise is a business that exists to achieve positive social, cultural and/or environmental impact. Social enterprises can create impact through their processes (e.g. training and hiring marginalised women and youth to create products or deliver services) or through reinvesting their profits (e.g. reinvesting profits into social programs within the community).

ygap is our parent company. yher Pacific Islands is a program by ygap Pacific Islands to support female-led social enterprises that are improving the lives of people living in poverty across the Pacific Islands region.

ygap is an international independent development non-for-profit with offices in Australia, Africa, South Asia and the Pacific Islands. To date, our local teams have run over 45 accelerator programs and supported over 515 ventures that have gone on to improve the lives of more than 954,000 people living in poverty across these regions. yher is ygap’s female focussed program, which adapts ygap’s proven model to back the most promising female impact entrepreneurs in the regions we operate in.

Program Application

No. The program is free of charge to take part in. That being said, we do require successful applicants to fund their own travel (flights) to Fiji for the one week live-in accelerator program, from their home location. All accommodation and food costs whilst in Fiji, during the program, will be covered by ygap.

We encourage you to use your networks or crowd funding sites to raise the necessary funds to cover your travel. If you have made attempts to raise funds yourself and are still unable to afford to attend, we do have some travel scholarships available.

Although the accelerator part of the program takes place in Fiji, you do not have to be based there. You can be based in any of the 22 Pacific island Countries. That being said, to get the most value out of the program (including the support and growth phases) we require our entrepreneurs to have access to the internet.

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 and are aiming to work on their venture full time as soon as is feasible. Our program can help you get there sooner.

Yes, you can! The team is just one of the components of your business we look at when making our selection decision, so if you have surrounded yourself with great people, this will work in your favour. However, if you haven’t yet found the perfect teammates, that’s okay too as  we look for entrepreneurs who see value in having a team. Remember, it’s impossible to build a large, successful business all on your own.

Having revenue shows us that people are willing to pay for the product or service that you have created or are providing. 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 fulfills a need.

Your venture must have an impact on people living in poverty and align with at least one of the Global Sustainable Development Goals. 

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

Of course! Please note that the program will be taught in english, so we do require a level of english proficiency.

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.

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 talei.goater@ygap.org and we can send through a soft copy of the application via email.

Unfortunately, no. We are looking for ventures (they can be non-profit, social enterprise or for-profit) with a clear social impact that is core to your business model, and not just an accidental by-product. We generally want to see evidence of this in the way you have structured your venture or your communications (website/social media etc.). It must be evident there is a clear value and priority placed on the social impact the venture generates.

Yes! We cannot wait to see what you’ve been able to achieve since you last applied. Just note that if you weren’t successful in the past because your venture didn’t meet one or more of our eligibility criteria, please ensure that it does meet them now.

Program Specifics

Yes, you will need to attend the one week accelerator program in person in Fiji on those dates. 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.

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.

Unfortunately, we can only accommodate one founder per venture. You’ll need to decide which of you is best placed to attend.

No, not as a requirement of the program. However the funding that is awarded during the program may be distributed as either a grant or an investment. This will depend on the state of the venture and a due diligence process.

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!

Still have a question?

If you have any questions that we haven’t answered, please get in touch with us below: