Women In Business

Gender and geography should not dictate opportunity


Opportunities should not be defined by your geography or your gender. However, the reality is that two out of three girls are denied an education and of the available funding for businesses around the world, only 3% goes to ones founded by females.

The cherry on top of this disappointing collation of statistics was when the World Economic Forum released the fact that at this rate it will take 108 years to achieve gender parity.

So at ygap we thought instead of just talking about it and waiting for change, let’s do something about it. yher is a female-focused program that is specifically designed to empower emerging female leaders in developing regions.

We found that after running 44 accelerators around the world, that there was a certain amount of drop off of female applicants that occurs at a certain point during the process, in particular in developing regions.

We believe in a world where women and people of all genders work together to solve the complex issues around poverty and have an equal platform to drive social impact.

So we did this by launching the pilot lean version of yher, a female-focused program, creating access to support, mentorship and training, enabling emerging female leaders to thrive and scale their social impact ventures.

During this pilot phase, we supported 63 emerging female leaders across Africa, the Pacific and South Asia addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

What we didn’t expect was the overwhelming influx of applications that demonstrating the immediate need to expand the yher program — 847 in total (from which we only had the capacity to accept 63). Imagine how many more women in these regions are ready for their opportunity. If not now, then when?

What do we hope to achieve with the yher Appeal?

We have two goals in mind, one being a short term and the other, a long term one.

First, we have the generous support of a long term benefactor who has offered to triple any donations to reach the gap in our total funding needed to roll out the yher global program for the three regions we will be working in. We have until June 30th to raise our goal of $500K, and with each donation being tripled we believe this is achievable.

The long term goal is that we would like to see a global audience recognises that gender is a human issue and backs yher — until it no longer needs to exist.

Who are the women we are supporting?

Muzalema Mwanza was one of the 63 female social impact entrepreneurs who came through ygap’s the yher Africa Pilot accelerator in 2018.  Through her venture, Safe Motherhood Alliance, she has developed an innovative baby delivery kit which ensures safe conditions at the time of childbirth.

With the development of this kit, Muzalema has not only offered training and employment opportunities, she has also assisted in delivering over 1,000 babies. That’s one woman impacting over 1000 mothers and their babies, and she has only just begun her social impact journey towards a world free of avoidable deaths related to childbirth.

Muzalema had a solution to a local problem, all she needed was someone to believe in her and back her. This is just one entrepreneur’s story of the success that comes with backing local change, there are 453 more stories just like this at ygap. 

How can others support her to create a better us? 

We would love to see women, men and people of all gender recognising the need to “Support her to create a better us” … They can do this by:

  1. Going to ygap.org/yhercampaign and making a donation, which will be tripled for the yher Appeal.

2. Spreading the word saying that “I back her #yher” and sharing the campaign with their community.

About Eliza Hilmer


Eliza Hilmer is ygap Communications Manager. Social impact entrepreneurship as a means to alleviating people out of poverty is a strong passion of hers. Her long-term association with ygap, and synergy with ygap's purpose has led to her stepping out of a corporate career and assuming of her current position as their Marketing and Communications Manager.

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