Accelerating female entrepreneurs in the Pacific

The Pacific Readiness for Investment in Social Enterprise was established to pioneer and facilitate a social impact investment market in the Pacific. Pacific RISE works with stakeholders (including investment funds and intermediaries) to learn and understand more about the Pacific and its social impact needs and identifies real investment opportunities in social enterprise businesses.

Pacific RISE’s partner, Australian not for profit social change incubator, YGAP, works with more than 300 social entrepreneurs around the world, of which over 50 per cent are female. Over the last two years YGAP have gone further with their support of female entrepreneurship designing the YHER program to find and accelerate female-led ventures that aim to improve the lives of women and girls.

With the support of the Australian Government through Pacific RISE, YGAP adapted the YHER program for the Pacific. In September 2018, YGAP chose 13 Pacific-based female founders to participate in an intensive 6-day live in entrepreneurship accelerator in Nadi, Fiji. Participants accessed world class training and a network of international mentors to be able to rapidly improve their ventures making them more scalable, sustainable and impactful.

Following the training, participants were connected to a network of investors, funders, mentors and supporters where entrepreneurs pitched their ideas and A$50,000 in investment and grants were awarded to three enterprises. A fashion house in Fiji, 8 Mountain, who exports to nine countries was approved for A$25,000 in investment, while Marie’s Private Clinic, a private health clinic in Solomon Islands, and Kahuto Investments, a technology enterprise conducting GIS mapping via drone technology, were awarded grants of A$15,000 and A$10,000 respectively to develop their business ideas further.

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