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Polished Man

ygap to launch Polished Man accelerator to support ventures working to end violence against children

Each October, men – and women – around Australia are urged to paint one fingernail to represent the child that dies every five minutes as a result of violence.

The initiative is part of the Polished Man campaign launched by ygap, an international not-for-profit backing impact entrepreneurs, with the funds collected dedicated to trauma prevention and trauma recovery programs for children who are at risk of, or have suffered, violence.

Among these programs is the soon-to-launch Polished Man Ending Violence Against Children accelerator, assisting early stage ventures that are working in this space.

Manita Ray, CEO of ygap, said, “We’ve been exploring new ways to positively impact communities that have been affected by violence against children.

“The idea of an accelerator model which focuses on ventures that work to end violence against children is something that was born from our conversations. This strategically aligns with ygap’s drive in creating segment-focused accelerators, but it was a decision informed by our Country Directors.”

The accelerator will run as a five-day intensive program, with participants given access to a structured and strategic business support model for up to 12 months following the accelerator. They will also have access to ygap’s mentor and investor networks. 

“The issue of violence against children is complex, vast, and real in the regions that we work within. An accelerator dedicated to this is something we know we can run exceptionally and the work that will come from those efforts will actively work towards reducing the statistic of one child dying every five minutes, down to zero,” Ray said.

Ygap has been running a number of accelerators since its founding in 2008. The focus through each is on backing ventures from local leaders, who are working to solve local problems in their communities.

Among the organisation’s other programs are yher, which is working with women-led social impact ventures across Africa, Bangladesh and the Pacific, and First Gens, working with migrants and refugees in Australia.

Of late, Ray said, ygap has begun to look at driving more “segment-focused” programs, such as the Polished Man accelerator.

The launch of the programs comes as social enterprise New Horizons last week opened Unboxd, an innovation lab that will work with ventures in the social impact and wellbeing space.

Launched in collaboration with The Disruptors Handbook, Unboxd will run an incubator program and work to connect startups and scaleups with partners in its network.

Judi Higgin, CEO of New Horizons, said Unboxd is a way of “welcoming and investing in high-tech solutions for an organisation that was itself a world first as a social enterprise”.

“We will be providing appropriate access to our customer base, employees and their insight to help those startup businesses create solutions across the broad spectrum of service areas in which New Horizons operates – and beyond. That could range from a new disability support service to an interactive website or an app, to name a couple of examples,” she said.

Image: Manita Ray. Source: Supplied.





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