The accelerator program by Yunus Social Business and Upaya Social Ventures will bring essential knowledge, capacity, and networks to early-stage social entrepreneurs
BANGALORE, India - January 18, 2022 — Yunus Social Business (YSB) and Upaya Social Ventures (Upaya) today announced the nine early-stage Indian companies selected to participate in the Upaya and YSB 2022 Accelerator. YSB and Upaya have partnered for the accelerator program to bring essential knowledge, capacity, and networks to the participating early-stage entrepreneurs, equipping them with the tools to access investment and grow their ventures.
“The 2022 Accelerator will strengthen YSB’s vision of harnessing the full potential of impact businesses and leaders in India,” said Suresh Krishna, Country Director of Yunus Social Business India. “The 2022 cohort, curated over several rounds of assessment, exemplifies entrepreneurial grit and high commitment to the mission of creating sustainable livelihoods. We are happy to partner with Upaya Social Ventures in this joint mission of making these social businesses investment-ready and ready-to-scale.”
The cohort consists of nine entrepreneurs who are leading early-stage enterprises in India that are focused on creating livelihood opportunities for people living in extreme poverty. The selection criteria was aimed at identifying revenue-generating companies that show traction and market potential, as well as potential to create 1,000 jobs in seven years.
The five-month program will unite industry experts, business leaders, and investors to equip the cohort participants with the knowledge and tools to access investment and grow their ventures. The nine participating companies will also receive tailored training in strategy, fundraising, investment readiness, and impact management, as well as customised individual support from the YSB and Upaya teams.
“We are thrilled to have a fantastic group of entrepreneurs joining us for the 2022 cohort across diverse sectors of agri, crafts, and livelihoods, who are committed to a unified mission of creating a dignified job among the under-served communities,” said A B Chakravarthy, India Country Director at Upaya. “We at Upaya, along with the YSB team, will be supporting them to get investment ready over the course of the program to foster their mission.”
The 2022 cohort was selected from a pool of 187 applications by a selection committee of impact investors, and social sector experts.
UPAYA AND YSB 2022 ACCELERATOR COHORT COMPANIES
AmalFarm Solutions focuses on building a platform for Geographically Indicated (GI) food products using QR code-based technology to deliver authentic and traceable products to consumers.
Bharat Krushi Seva provides crop advisory to farmers through satellite and drone imagery technology to improve the decision-making process of farmers at different stages of production.
Farm Didi helps rural women become Food Entrepreneurs through its mobile app which works with women Self Help Groups to facilitate services like food testing, food licence, packaging solutions & managerial training.
Yellow Bag words with women to make cloth bags as an alternative to plastic bags to promote sustainability and livelihoods.
Anuprerna Artisan Alliance is a sustainable handloom textile manufacturer and fashion brand that connects 25 weaving clusters in rural Bengal with global consumers through a transparent supply chain.
Drivershaab is a SaaS-based on-demand driver aggregator platform that partners with logistics companies to provide technology for their drivers and also provides driver-as-a-service to car owners through an app-based platform.
Gramshree Agri Services promotes animal husbandry and fishery through tech-driven value chain services to farmers, rural youth, and women.
Pasidi Panta works with chilli and turmeric producing farmer clusters to improve the livelihoods of farmers by promoting sustainable agriculture practices across value chains.
reThela Technology is building an organized retail market infrastructure for fragmented and unorganized street vendors by providing customised, cost-competitive mechanisms for businesses to market and sell their products through street vendors.
ABOUT YUNUS SOCIAL BUSINESS
Yunus Social Business (YSB) is a social business fund and corporate social innovator, harnessing the power of business to end poverty and the climate crisis. Co-founded in 2011 by Peace Nobel Laureate Prof. Yunus, YSB Funds finances and grows social businesses in East Africa, Latin America & India, while Yunus Corporate Innovation transforms corporations into a force for good. To date, social businesses in YSB’s portfolio have impacted the lives of 13 million people and provided higher incomes to 50,000. Investment Readiness Programmes form part of YSB’s wider ambition to contribute to building the ecosystem in the geographies in which YSB is active.
ABOUT UPAYA SOCIAL VENTURES
Upaya Social Ventures is fighting extreme poverty through dignified jobs. Founded in 2011, Upaya provides investment and consulting support to early-stage businesses aimed at creating jobs for the poorest of the poor. Upaya’s continually growing portfolio of impact investments has created over 25,000 lasting, dignified jobs. Endorsed by ImpactMatters as a high-impact, cost-effective nonprofit, Upaya’s teams in Seattle and Bangalore are committed to a goal of helping entrepreneurs create reliable jobs in India.
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