YGAP Bangladesh, the largest impact accelerator program in Bangladesh that operates under a partnership between Build Bangladesh and YGAP Australia, has been awarded the “Best Incubator/Accelerator Program of South Asia” in the SAARC Startup Awards 2020 on March 10th, 2021.
SAARC Awards is part of the Global Startup Awards, which focuses on celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship and promoting bridging boundaries using innovation in the regions comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The organization says its highly converted awards program is generally attended by top-notch entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, and ecosystem builders from Nordic, Central Europe, SAARC, and ASEAN.
“This AWARD is an exciting milestone for us and makes it more meaningful to claim it in the 50th year of independence. We dedicate this award to all the freedom fighters of Bangladesh who dedicated their lives and awarded us with Bangladesh. This is a win for them! This is a win for our 21st-century Muktijoddha – the impact entrepreneurs,” said the country director of ygap Bangladesh Erad Kawsar in a statement.
YGAP Bangladesh came as WINNERS out of the Incubator/Accelerator programs nominated across the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region, including Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Notable nominations for the award were: CISCO Launchpad (India), invest2innovate (Pakistan), Startup Bangladesh (ICT Ministry), YY Ventures (Grameen/Bangladesh), Thimphu Tech Park (Bhutan), and 5 other organizations from the aforementioned South Asian countries.
This is the first time an organization from Bangladesh has received this award.
Erad Kawsar said, “We believe with achievements and recognition comes more responsibility and accountability to evolve and do better for the ecosystem. YGAP is ready with more innovative approaches for Bangladeshi impact entrepreneurs for the next 20 years (2041).”
YGAP Bangladesh has been operating in Bangladesh since 2016. The program says it has a portfolio of 86 impact startups locally that come from 11 different industries serving 8 different target groups and beneficiaries and address 12 out of a total 17 SDGs.
Over the years, ygap Bangladesh has run 7 accelerator cohorts and 2 specialized re-accelerator programs to support alumni ventures to overcome challenges of the coronavirus pandemic in Bangladesh. The organization claims its portfolio companies have impacted over 435,000 lives in Bangladesh.
YGAP operates in partnership with Build Bangladesh, who are the pioneers of launching the impact investment ecosystem in Bangladesh.
Build Bangladesh is the impact arm of Impress Group – one of the largest and oldest conglomerates of the country. Impact investment has been gaining steam in Bangladesh of late. Build Bangladesh has launched a $100M Impact Fund in partnership with UNDP and also has the first SEC-registered impact fund of $10M.
YGAP Bangladesh says it aims to create a knowledge-based data-driven ecosystem for impact investment in Bangladesh.