Upaya Social Ventures is building the businesses that create jobs for the ultra poor. Upaya Social Ventures creates dignified jobs by partnering with early-stage entrepreneurs to scale their businesses, employing more people in their communities.
The businesses they work with are often too large for micro-loans, but their business models are not yet suitable for investments from local banks or venture capitalists due to the risk involved and support needed.
Upaya’s LiftUP Project is a 24-36 month accelerator program that provides early-stage entrepreneurs with business development support and financial resources to launch and scale their businesses. To date Upaya’s six entrepreneurs are employing 1,158 men and women, and they are working to double those numbers in the coming years.
Upaya provides early-stage entrepreneurs the guidance and network connections necessary to scale and secure investments. The Upaya team has identified the activities that are most critical for start-up ventures, and structures engagements accordingly. By forming cohorts of eight to 12 entrepreneurs, they are able to extend their reach and support to more early-stage enterprises.
To date, the companies in Upaya’s investment portfolio have created 10,559 jobs for the poorest of the poor.
They work with there partner entrepreneurs to collect and analyze over 25 social metrics on their employees. This allows them to ensure that the jobholders are making progress out of extreme poverty.
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