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Here for You

We are searching for the most ambitious, game-changing social enterprises led by migrants and refugees in Australia

 
 

ABOUT

 

YGAP is an international not-for-profit that backs impact entrepreneurs. We accelerate early-stage social impact ventures that exist to improve the lives of people living in disadvantage.

Here in Australia, migrants and refugees often face increased challenges when starting a business, participating in the community and searching for employment.

YGAP’s First Gens program supports migrant and refugee led social impact ventures that are improving the lives of people living in disadvantage in Australia.

Funded by LaunchVIC, YGAP will be offering multiple intakes into its internationally acclaimed and proven program. Each First Gens Program will consist of a five-day live-in accelerator followed by three months of tailored support. The best part - the program is completely free. We exist simply to support and grow early-stage social impact ventures.

Loretta Bolotin (middle), co-founder of Free to Feed. Loretta came through our Accelerator program in 2016, and was awarded $25,000 towards her social enterprise. Read more about Free to Feed here.  

Loretta Bolotin (middle), co-founder of Free to Feed. Loretta came through our Accelerator program in 2016, and was awarded $25,000 towards her social enterprise. Read more about Free to Feed here.  

 
 

THE program

 

ACCELERATE: A five-day intensive entrepreneurship program designed to fast track your early-stage venture. We will provide training, mentorship and a community of inspiring, like-minded entrepreneurs who are all working towards creating a better Australia for migrants and refugees.

SUPPORT: Following the accelerator, we provide three months of creative support, strategy sessions, monthly meetups, business mentorship, legal and accounting help and access to small grants of up to $1000. At the end of the support phase a Pitch Event is held, giving each of the entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch to impact investors, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

GROW: The top entrepreneurs from each cohort will move into the growth phase where they will have access to an increased support package in addition to up to $25,000 of growth capital.

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 like-minded individuals supporting you to handle the rollercoaster.

YGAP's Australian Accelerator Pitch Event in November 2017 was packed with impact investors, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and industry leaders. This event provided the 2017 cohort the opportunity to share their vision and passion with those attending, and further develop their social capital networks.

YGAP's Australian Accelerator Pitch Event in November 2017 was packed with impact investors, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and industry leaders. This event provided the 2017 cohort the opportunity to share their vision and passion with those attending, and further develop their social capital networks.

 

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who we are looking for:

 

Early Stage: Ventures that have launched or have at least run a pilot and shown some early traction or proof of concept. We typically look for ventures that have less than 100 customers and have been in operation less than two years.

Migrant or Refugee Led: There must be at least one migrant or refugee co-founder who will participate in the program.

Engaged: The founder intimately understands the problem that they are trying to solve.

Supports Migrants & Refugees: The venture must be improving the lives of migrants or refugees who are experiencing disadvantage. This can be through a process enterprise (a venture creates change as it does its work) or a profit enterprise (a venture that sells something and directs that funding to social change).

Rebeccah Bartlett, founder of Shifra. Rebeccah came through our program in 2017 and was voted Australian Entrepreneur of the Year at our Pitch Event in November 2017, winning $5,000 towards her venture. 

Rebeccah Bartlett, founder of Shifra. Rebeccah came through our program in 2017 and was voted Australian Entrepreneur of the Year at our Pitch Event in November 2017, winning $5,000 towards her venture. 

 

FAQs

 

How do you define a migrant or refugee?
A migrant is any person who is not born in Australia, while a refugee is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely.

What is the cost of the program?
The program is completely free, including room and board while participating in the five day live-in accelerator program. Your only expenses will be getting to and from the venues.

What are the travel requirements for the program?
The Accelerator and Demo Day will both be held in Melbourne, and attendance is mandatory. The Support phase will also be delivered in Melbourne, although in some cases this can be delivered remotely. 

English is not my first language. Can I still apply?
English is the language that the First Gens program is delivered in. We recommend an intermediate level of English proficiency. However, do not let your confidence in English deter you from applying. If you have a fantastic venture, but your English is lacking we have a number of brilliant partners that can help increase your proficiency in English and we can accept you into the program at a later intake.

What if I don't solely focus on migrants or refugees? Can I still apply?
We are still open to ventures that support a demographic other than migrants and refugees, as long as it has a specific program that focuses solely on migrants and refugees. We want to see that your organisation has a clear mandate or mission to uplift migrants and refugees in some way.

If I am not a migrant or refugee but my venture exists to support the migrant and refugee community, can I still apply?
Yes. While the main focus of the YGAP First Gens program is to support migrant and refugee led ventures, we do have limited spots available for ventures that are not migrant or refugee led but are significantly impacting the migrant and refugee community. 

If I have a co-founder, can they join the program as well?
Unfortunately, we can only accommodate one founder per venture for the Accelerator week. You’ll need to decide which of you is best to attend.

Do you take equity in the ventures?
No, it is not as a requirement of the program.

I run a for-profit business with no deliberate social impact. Can I still apply?
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, 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. (An example could be: deliberate employment of marginalised/disadvantaged refugees or migrants?)

More questions? Get in touch with Simon Lee, YGAP’s Australian Program Manager at simon.lee@ygap.com.au.

 

TESTIMONIALS

 
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"The YGAP Accelerator is a completely transformational program. It will accelerate the growth of your venture, your development as a leader, and amplify the impact and ultimate goals you have for your project. I started with a basic idea and a hope that I could help others. Following the program, I now have a clear vision of what I need to do, and a strategy on how to bring about the change to want to see. I couldn't recommend the program highly enough!"
–Lyndon Galea, Eat Up

 
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"The YGAP Accelerator connected me with so many incredible people who are also doing their bit to change the world. It made me feel less alone in the struggles and connected me to a community of people with shared wisdom and experiences I could learn from." 
–Saskia Hampele, Gift Box 

 
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"The YGAP Accelerator was just what we needed to take it to the next level. I was challenged, confronted, moved and inspired throughout the process and it ultimately allowed me to develop hugely as a leader. If you do one thing for your social enterprise, make it this. You won’t spend much time writing boring business projections, but you will meet with some of the best entrepreneurs in the country and kick start your venture."
–Dan Poole, Crepes for Change

 
 

contact

Questions or comments? Get in touch with Simon Lee, YGAP’s Australian Program Manager at simon.lee@ygap.com.au or shoot us a message below and we'll respond within one business day.

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