What We Learned From Our Re-Accelerator Programs
In July of 2020, ygap launched six Resiliency Accelerator Programs (Re-Accelerators), one in each area that we operate within. The main objective of these programs was to support our alumni ventures through the initial shock of the pandemic, in an effort to reduce the number of ventures that were forced to close, and minimise revenue and employment loss.
A first for ygap, these programs were designed specifically in response to the needs of our alumni communities in Kenya, South Africa, Australia, Bangladesh and the Pacific Islands, and were tailored to the needs of each context. After concluding these programs in December and having completed a thorough analysis and reflection we’re proud to have seen some incredible stories of resilience and innovation in the face of adversity. Ventures like BridgeCap Insurance in Kenya, Kahuto Pacific in Fiji, Sibocali in South Africa, Wizkit in Bangladesh, and Robofun in Australia have not only survived the pandemic, but have thrived, adapting their operations to find new markets, new sources of revenue, and new ways of operating.
“The re-accelerator has felt similar to coming home after being caught in a downpour. it’s great to be part of the ygap community and also support my fellow entrepreneurs” ygap First Gens Re-Accelerator participant
There were certainly a lot of lessons learned. From the type support that ventures need when facing a crisis to the challenges and difficulties experienced in delivering a remote program, particularly where the technological infrastructure isn’t always available, affordable or reliable, we come away from these programs wiser and more informed . Overwhelmingly, and across the board, the 1:1 strategy sessions held between our local team of social entrepreneurship and development experts and the participating ventures were the most valuable part of the program, providing tailored support with a deep understanding of local context.
Having recently finalised the evaluation of our Re-Accelerator Programs,despite the challenges faced, we’re very pleased to report that for the alumni ventures who completed our Re-Accelerator Program, 100% of them are still in operation, and 62% of them have experienced an increase in revenue. This is an exceptional outcome given the economic and social fallout of COVID-19 and the current difficulties faced by small and medium enterprises in emerging markets who have been hit hard by the pandemic. ygap is proud of the agility of our in-country teams in rapidly developing and implementing such a successful, needs-based programmatic response, and remains deeply inspired by the ventures who have fought to continue their operations through such difficult circumstances. They serve as a model of resilience and recovery to all of us.
“It was motivating to see other like-minded individuals striving and trying to get through the impact that the pandemic caused. We were able to share stories of encouragement and tools on how to overcome certain challenges.” ygap South Africa Re-Accelerator participant
Learn more about ygap and our work at www.ygap.org