Upaya Social Ventures creates dignified jobs by partnering with early-stage entrepreneurs to scale their businesses, employing more people in their communities. The businesses we 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 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, we are able to extend our reach and support to more early-stage enterprises.
From each accelerator cohort, Upaya will make up to three equity investments, comprising a minority stake in each new business. Investments are constructed over an extended timeline which coincides with an intensive technical advisory engagement with Upaya, positioning the business for further scale and follow-on investment.
To date, we have supported 31 entrepreneurs, refining their business models and connecting them with investors.
Since our founding, Upaya has made investments in 16 businesses and has experienced three exits.
Furthering Our Impact
When our partner entrepreneurs have successfully grown their businesses and are ready to continue on their own, we recycle our capital investment into a new social enterprise, multiplying the impact of each donation we receive.