Ygap Australian Program Manager Simon Lee (left) addressing the media during the launch of Ygap Kenya Offices at the Australian Consulate on April 13, 2018. Looking on is Ygap Country Director-Kenya Carol Kimari (center) and the Australian High Commissioner to Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda Alison Chartres. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITUYgap Australian Program Manager Simon Lee (left) addressing the media during the launch of Ygap Kenya Offices at the Australian Consulate on April 13, 2018. Looking on is Ygap Country Director-Kenya Carol Kimari (center) and the Australian High Commissioner to Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda Alison Chartres. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
By HILARY KIMUYU

Ygap, an impact entrepreneur investor in Australia, has launched its Kenyan office that will support thousands of social entrepreneurs to impact persons living in poverty.

The Ygap Kenya office was officially launched in a ceremony at the Australia High Commissioner’s residence in Muthaiga on Friday.

Speaking during the launch event, Ygaps Kenya Country Director Carol Kimari said that the organization, through SPARK, the impact arm of Ygap, has within the last three years impacted 272,184 lives through the accelerator program citing the quest to impact a total of 1 million lives over the next two years with the social entrepreneurship programs.

The Australian High Commissioner Ms Alison Chartres her part spoke of the fresh approach the Australian Government is taking towards aid programs.

‘The Australian Government is also taking a fresh approach, not just in matters of policy and programs within Australia, but also in our approach to our foreign policy objectives, and in the delivery of our aid program,” she said, adding that her country, through Ygap, reflects the essence of development.

IMPACT VENTURES

Having set foot in Kenya through SPARK international in 2015, Ygap boasts of being the only organization which solely focuses on investing in early stage impact ventures.

Ygap starts by finding the best local leaders running early stage ventures addressing one or more major root causes of poverty, then selecting and entering a five-day intensive live-in accelerator, where they receive expert advice and panel beat their business models to scale their ventures.

Those selected are supported for a year with each entrepreneur entering the support phase of their program with the final phase called the growth phase.

It is at this stage that the most successful impact entrepreneurs having the greatest impact on their communities are selected and given larger financial grants of up to Sh2.5 million ($25,000).

Ygap Kenya will serve not only the Eastern Africa region but also the Central and West African countries.

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