Upaya is pleased to announce the kick-off of our partnership with UpSkill Management Services, a Mumbai-based business focused on training unskilled workers for employment in sectors such as retail and auto repair. To date, 4,500 young adults have completed UpSkills vocational training program, acquiring the soft skills needed to find work but not taught in schools.
Mansi Agarwal, Founder and CEO of UpSkill, completed Upaya’s first accelerator program in 2017, Formalizing the Informal Sector. Mansi was subsequently selected for Upaya investment, and, in partnership with Seattle University, we invited Mansi to Seattle as an “Entrepreneur in Residence.”
We will soon extend the first investment tranche to UpSkill and begin working with Mansi to help the enterprise reach a set of goals determined by both organizations. As part of Upaya’s strategy for working with early-stage ventures, we have found it beneficial to deploy funding in several smaller tranches, rather than all at once. We work with our partner entrepreneurs to set and reach specific milestones around each tranche, preparing them for growth and follow-in investments.
Upaya’s goal in selecting businesses for investment is to find entrepreneurs who share our mission to help the poorest of the poor through job creation. Mansi’s business fills the education gap between schools and employers and helps disadvantaged youth in India find stable, meaningful employment. With the prospect of helping thousands of people in extreme poverty find dignified jobs, we could not be more excited about this new partnership.