YHER | Women Are The Best Levers For Change | YGAP

YHER  a Female-focused program run by YGAP 

Why Do You Give A Damn?

We believe that investing in local impact entrepreneurs will help the anticipated economic growth on the African continent in the next few decades be equitable. One of the best ways to achieve this equitable growth will be to invest in female African entrepreneurs.

We know women are vibrant and vital architects of society.

We know women are the best levers for change in our world.

We also know female entrepreneurs need to be championed.

More women are pursuing entrepreneurship in Africa per capita than anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, they face greater challenges and are more likely to run low-growth businesses with few employees that primarily sustain their immediate families. For this reason, YGAP conduct a continent-wide search to bring together an unrivalled group of 15 African Female Founders for its YHER Accelerator. Founders running high-impact ventures aimed at improving the lives of women and girls.

What do you do?

Our mission is to help local entrepreneurs improve the lives of people living in disadvantage. YGAP believes in backing local entrepreneurs as they are the best positioned to find solutions to local problems.

  • ACCELERATOR A week-long intensive entrepreneurship program designed to fast track your early stage venture.
  • We’ll provide training and mentorship while also connecting you to an inspiring group of fellow female entrepreneurs MENTORSHIP Connection to a network of mentors from across the world throughout the Accelerator week.
  • HIGH-TEA An opportunity for you to network with investors, funders, mentors and supporters.
  • FUNDING Funding is available for the winners of our peer review and audience votes.
  • GROWTH SUPPORT Potential to qualify for Growth support, including ongoing tailored support and grant or investment funding to help scale your venture.
  • COMMUNITY Ongoing connection with our virtual community to help you along your entrepreneurial journey.

Why Does It Matter?

We truly believe that change is driven by socially conscious businesses and we want to see women running bigger and better ventures.

When it comes to venture capital, women receive only 3–5% of the funding available and less than 5% of venture capital firms are led by women, and the number is even smaller for women of colour.

For female entrepreneurs who are early stage and focus on social impact – the challenge becomes even harder.

We believe backing local entrepreneurs is the most effective, sustainable means of tackling poverty because it redistributes power and choice to disadvantaged communities. These local leaders understand the unique challenges and strengths of their communities and are often much better positioned to identify opportunities to change lives through the establishment of social business opportunities.

YGAP focuses on early-stage ventures that improve access to education or healthcare, create jobs or build safer homes.

Where can you be found 

The YGAP Head Office is in Melbourne, but we run in-country operations in

  • Bangladesh
  • Kenya and
  • South Africa

Websites  YHER  &  YGAP 

YGAP links | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube channel 

hashtags: #TheFutureIsFemale #GirlItISPossible #BePartOfSomethingIncredible

One of our female Entrepreneurs – Peggy Mativo – PACE International 


Founders and Board Members

  • Elena Critchley: YGAP Co-Founder
  • Elliot Costello: YGAP CEO and Co-Founder
  • Aaron Tait: YGAP Chief Impact Officer
  • Adrian Lynch: Senior Associate, Nodco Legal
  • Daniel Madhavan (Chair): Former CEO, Impact Investing Australia
  • David Curtis: Director of Innovation, World Vision Australia
  • Kaitlin Tait: YGAP Impact General Manager
  • Manita Ray: YGAP Chief Operating Officer
  • Marianne Roux: Head of Consulting, Cirrus Asia Pacific.


Creating sustainability from the inside out


“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our stories is the bravest thing we will ever do.” Brene Brown


Dr Linda Wilson photo credit: Beth Jennings

Why I give a damn: I give a damn because I have people contacting me every day about the toxic environment they have inside themselves. Old emotions, patterns of behaviour, resentments, guilts, hurts, regrets, etc. They know these emotions no longer serve them but cannot seem to shift. I give a damn because I have seen these same courageous people change their inner environment and blossom. This then transforms the environments around them, at work, at home, socially. When we deal with ourselves, everyone benefits. In this space, I can make a difference, and I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to do so.

What I do: I am a corporate wellness consultant and stress management specialist helping individuals use their minds to change their brain. This includes the latest neurological research and a deep understanding of how we learn. It is a wholistic approach to creating sustainability. Sustainability is what we as individuals and businesses need to survive – as are flexibility and creativity. We access these things through a relaxed mind. I do this through corporate training, mentoring, private consulting, through my book ’Stress Made Easy – Peeling Women off the Ceiling’, through my wellness practice in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne and on my weekly radio show.

Why it matters: The only place we have any true power or control is right here, right now within ourselves. Imagine the difference we could make to the world if the best version of ourselves showed up in every situation.    It matters because when we bring more of our healthy, happy, creative and productive selves to the table what we create are happy, healthy and creative homes, workplaces and communities. There is no more blame, just taking responsibility and creating change where it is needed.

Founder Dr Linda Wilson

Where to find Linda   Website  | Email  |  Facebook | LinkedIn

#makingselfcareeasy   #itssafetoletitgo   #changeyourmindtochangeyourbrain



pst…  if you would like a free copy of Daniel Priestley’s book  Key Person Of Influence  here’s the link

Circular Food is part of this change

Inspiring Peeps 


The environment is a major passion
for the whole founding team.


Meet social entrepreneur & founder : Steve Morriss, Circular Food

Why I give a damn:  I read a relevant ancient Chinese Proverb just this morning –

“if we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.”

For the population of earth, where we are headed is not a prosperous future. Something needs to change. Circular Food is part of this change.
We give a damn because we want a bright future for generations to come. We give a damn because we want to “sit on our rocking chairs” at the end of our lives and feel good about being part of a solution, rather than resigning ourselves to the fact that we are the problem. We give a damn because without a healthy planet, what else is there to strive for?

What we do: Circular Food is a startup social enterprise, with the intent of reducing organic waste and improving soil health.

We take in organic waste (primarily food waste), blend it with other products such as organic compost, and process that waste through commercial scale worm farms to produce a high-quality organic fertiliser.

This fertiliser consists of essential elements for healthy soil, in a readily available form for plants.
Right now, we collect all of the food waste from a local Turkish restaurant, making it (as far as we know) Melbourne’s only zero food waste restaurant.

Why it matters:  Soil health is an extremely important issue for the world. Farms globally are under immense pressure to feed a growing population. For this reason, the use of chemical fertilisers has become a vicious cycle which farmers simply cannot financially afford to break. Unfortunately, the result of this continual chemical use is eroded, nutrient depleted soils, which cannot sustain growth on its own. This is not how nature intended it.

Food contains all of the nutrients needed to produce another plant. Food waste sits in landfill and rots, releasing harmful methane and CO2 emissions, when it should be back on the soil replenishing it for the next crop. Circular Food is restoring this natural cycle, by turning organic waste into a plant ready fertiliser.

We supply urban gardeners, hobby farmers, hydroponics growers and commercial farms.

Founder:  Steve Morriss. The founding team includes Chloe Morriss and Robert Scherini, as well as a team of other supporters.

Based: Melbourne, Australia. Our factory is in Somerton, north of Melbourne.

#innovation #foodtofertiliser #agtech

How to get in touch |  Circular Food Website  | Facebook 

#TDI #TwoFeet   TDi has been a huge learning opportunity for all of us. When we started the Circular Food journey, we didn’t identify as a social enterprise.

Now we wear those colours with pride.

The TDi team, as well as our fellow two-feeters, have helped us to define our business and our intent.



pst…  if you would like a free copy of Daniel Priestley’s book  Key Person Of Influence  here’s the link

My passions are the well-being of nature, animals, and people.

Inspiring Peeps 

Introducing Dr. Mahdi Mason 

Dr Mahdi Mason passionate about Nature, Animals and People


Why I give a damn: My passions are the well-being of nature, animals, and people.

My passions have led me to work in, and complete a doctoral degree in environmental management, start up a blog on how we can lessen our impacts on the planet, become an energetic healer and write a book on how people can empower themselves. My business allows me to combine all my interests. It aims to help nature, animals, and people. Therefore, running my business fulfils me, while also helping the rest of the world.

What I do: The Earth Healing Hub offers workshops, articles, events and products designed to give people the tools and resources they need to go out and help the world around them. It also teaches people simple ways they can help not only the environment but animals, themselves and other people too.

It educates people on how much the natural world does for them and gives them reasons to appreciate it so that they want to look after it themselves. It reminds everyone that we are not separate from, or superior to, the environment, but very much part of a larger natural system. As such, it’s imperative that we take care of everything in the system, not just ourselves.

Why it matters: So many people know that they would like to do SOMETHING to help the world around them but feel powerless to do anything because they don’t have the knowledge or resources. The information my business provides allows people to act within their own means (i.e. not costing money or much time) to help the world on a daily basis.

Founder Mahdi Mason, Brisbane, Australia

#earthhealer #powerofyoubook #lovenature

How to get in touch   Website  |  Facebook |  Instagram  |  Blog


pst…  if you would like a free copy of Daniel Priestley’s book  Key Person Of Influence  here’s the link

Say No To Plastics : Eco Toys Healthy Lives

Inspiring Profiles

Why I give a Damn Jane McLeod

Introducing Jane Macleod and family

Why I give a damn:  I don’t want to my children to go through the suffering of an auto-immune disease like I have. I want to teach them by being a good example of how we can live a healthy and happy life by respecting and living close to Mother nature.

What I do:  I hire Eco-friendly wooden toys to my local town of Ballarat and sell them online Australia wide.  I also love to inspire other Mums to reduce the toxins in their family’s lives in easy, actionable and affordable ways.  I have also discovered that one of the most toxic things to a human is a negative thought and love to spread this message! In the future, I plan to help other Mum’s set up their own wooden toy hire business so together we can make wooden toys the norm again! #saynotoplastic.

Why it matters:  Our heavy use of plastics is having a detrimental effect on our health and the health of our planet. Wooden toys do not contain BPA, phthalates or heavy metals such as lead and mercury which can be found in varying amounts in plastic toys. These toxins have been linked to cancers, obesity, lower IQ and behavioural problems to name just a few!

Founder:  Jane McLeod

Mr Kipp and little Jimmy Eco Toy Hire and sales




Ed Im Mr Kipp wooden toy hire flatlay

pst…  if you would like a free copy of Daniel Priestley’s book  Key Person Of Influence  here’s the link

Reduce eWaste ReUse Technology

Inspiring Peeps

 Mardi & Cat - Co-Founders PonyUp for Good IGD ed im

Introducing Mardi Brown and Cat Harding


Why we give a damn

We are all entitled to basic needs, yet some of us spend our days fighting for food, shelter, safety, water, medication, sanitation, education, care, connection – and sometimes even fighting for our lives.

Having travelled extensively in developing countries and working to build, run and fund an outreach school in Cambodia over the past 12 years – the team at PonyUp understand the senseless gap between those who have it all and those who dig through the dirt to find their next meal. It’s impossible to ignore. It changes you.

Knowing all too well the pain point of donor fatigue, we found a way to provide individuals and businesses with a simple and non-monetary opportunity to contribute beyond themselves via unwanted, second-hand technology, knowing that this action will better the future of those who need it most.

What we do

PonyUp for Good is a new social enterprise. Our mission is to provide a simple process for socially minded companies and individuals to turn unwanted, second-hand technology (phones, iPods, laptops and tablets) into charitable currency. We collect unwanted technology, provide a free and secure data cleansing service, sell the technology to wholesale partners and donate 50% of the profits to annual charity partners. We are making it easy to be nice when you upgrade your device.

By-product benefits of this process include; the reduction of e-waste, the clearing of cupboards and drawers across Australia, the provision of much required second-hand technology to those not in a position to afford it new and a warm fuzzy feeling for all those who PonyUp for Good!

Why it matters

Each year more than 5 million Australians upgrade their phones – 48% put the ‘old’ technology into drawers, just in case. Most of them are never used again and eventually become toxic landfill. More than 4 million computers are sold in Australia each year, 88% of these also end up in landfill.

We’re PonyingUp for Good because we have the opportunity to build a business that gives to others compassionately and ethically and has a bi-product of reusing technology and reducing the 18 billion tonnes of e-waste contributing to Australia’s landfill. It’s about conscious capitalism at its root.

We asked ourselves, ‘how can we use our education, knowledge, networks and resources to build a company that directly benefits others with meaning and environmental impact?

Who are the Founders?   Cat Harding & Mardi Brown

Cat is a communications and project management professional with over 20 years experience across a multitude of industries. She has launched music careers, dressed 20,000 people for the Commonwealth Games and managed communications projects for London Underground, Pacific Brands and CitiPower and Powercor.

Cat has two beautiful girls and wants to come home every day proud of the impact she has made in the world so she can teach her children that one person with the right attitude can make a difference.
Her dream is to make ‘PonyUp’ as much the common vernacular for what you do with redundant technology as Googling has become the term for how you search for information.

Mardi is motivated by a need to contribute positively, helping drive meaningful change for those who need it most. You will often hear her asking, ‘for what purpose are we doing this?’

Mardi is a trained Behavioural Specialist and has worked as Head of People & Culture with TEDxMelbourne, and in her own consultancy has helped businesses develop strategies and standards for their own workplace cultures. With a degree in Business/Marketing and 15+ years experience leading teams as a senior marketer across HR, Tourism & Hospitality in both Australia and North America.

Since 2009, Mardi has held the role of Co-President of Act, Change, Educate (ACE), who manage the Happy School project in Cambodia. ACE provides primary education, secondary school scholarships, vocational training and pathways to employment for some of the country’s most disadvantaged young people.

Mardi loves getting her hands dirty in every part of PonyUp’s growth. Her mission: To get everyone in Australia PonyingUp their old devices when they upgrade, to help those in need!

Website & social details

Website:   http://www.ponyupforgood.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ponyupforgood/

youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Ponyupforgood

New tech new life horse ponyUpIGD ed im

Papermaking elevates social inclusion and hope

Inspiring Peeps 

#socialinclusion, #paperworksinc, #givehope blog (1)


Why I give a damn:  Loneliness underpins so many social ills. Through breaking down barriers to social inclusion, I hoped to create a richer social experience for marginalised people through opportunities for meaningful occupation. My daughter is living with a disability, so I understand the effects of marginalisation on an individual and their families.  I feel that people with disabilities need valueable social roles in the community so they can be seen as contributing to the society like everyone else – not to mention how it improves the self-esteem and self-worth of marginalised people.

What we do: We host social hand papermaking workshops to facilitate opportunities for building friendships and we employ a small number of marginalised people in order to give them more opportunities for economic participation and choice. Our artisans manufacture stationary and seed tiles from locally harvested plant fibre (e.g. tulips after Floriade) and recycled textile (including denim jeans) destined for landfill.

 Why does it matter? Recently a Sydney morning Herald article pointed out that a 1/3 of Australians are feeling isolated and separate.  No wonder leading psychiatrist Dan Siegel describes isolation as an artificial prison. A chronic sense of loneliness can weaken the body’s immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to a range of illnesses and depression. Depression is fast becoming the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Australia, around 1 million adults and 100 000 young people suffer from depression in any given year. An estimated 45% of people suffer from depression at some stage in their lives – 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men.   Not only people with special needs are at risk.  A change in circumstance that contributes to social isolation, comes unexpectedly – the loss of a partner, the loss of a job, a car accident, a relocation, a long-term illness. We are all vulnerable.

We have two goals:

  • We want to help our community beat the devastating physical, mental and economic impact of loneliness caused by social exclusion. The first step is to change community perceptions. We believe when people from different backgrounds and abilities get to know each other, they become more tolerant of “otherness”, more open to friendship and more aware of the various issues at stake.  
  • Provide opportunities to develop better social skills, which could promote a person’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Increased confidence levels may also increase peoples employability, which in turn may reduce their dependence on health and social welfare structures. the xes

Founder:  Marja Rouse

#socialinclusion, #paperworksinc, #givehope


 IGD Paperworks collage

Less = More | creating a new wedding culture

Planning a wedding? Consider sustainable, ethical and minimal options

Profile Snippet

Less stuff more meaning 

why we give a damn

In recent years, the trend towards wedding consumerism has led to many questioning the traditional wedding. With an average wedding spend of $35,000, it’s not surprising that some couples are choosing to return to smaller, more intimate weddings. Here at LSMM we celebrate we’re all about inspiring new wedding traditions. We would love to see weddings become an event with a deeper purpose, a force for social change. Let’s bring back the minimalist wedding, the intimate gathering, and the elopement. Where the wedding becomes a community affair and guests bring a plate. Or where guests give experiences over things. Where the day becomes a representation of the values the couple stands for, such as looking after our global family, leaving a lighter footprint, or being hands-on in giving back to a cause they are passionate about.

what we do

We’re a wedding blog with a difference. At LSMM we value simplicity and substance over the pretty details, and feature weddings where couples have scaled back, consumed mindfully or have given back. Wedding blogs are often a bride’s source of inspiration when it comes to wedding planning, so we’d love to bring small, intimate weddings to the forefront, and celebrate the difference these weddings are making in caring for our earth and people. Currently, we are also working on an ethical gift registry where couples can choose artisan and fair-trade products supporting social enterprises, incorporate charitable giving, take eco-getaways, or volunteer on their honeymoon.  We’re instigating a grass-roots movement around ethical weddings which we hope will simply become the new normal.

why it matters

Because our planet and global village are calling for some TLC. Couples planning a wedding have huge consumer power, and with 120,000 weddings/year in Australia, a change in wedding culture will make a tangible difference. Here’s to world changers!


Founders:  Sandra Henri and Amy Wilson


Sandra Hendri co-founders of Less Stuff More Meaning

Sandra Hendri co-founder of Less Stuff More Meaning


Field Trip | Youth | Make Your Mark

The Field Trip

Youth leadership, youth employment,
youth group Australia

Profile Snippet

We asked met Paul Kooperman at the 2015 Purpose.do conference and asked him – Why he gives a damn..


We met Paul Kooperman through the Purpose.do 2015 conference and asked him why he gives a damn.


  • Young people want to find their passion, peers and path.
  • Young people need meaningful employment
  • The world needs givers, initiators, innovators, instigators and drivers
  • We all have extraordinary potential we need to fulfill 
  • We get what we give and benefit from empowering others to benefit
  • We need leaders to create more leaders
  • Communities need proactive contributors
  • We create opportunities for ourselves by creating them for others
  • Young people need positive role models, but can also be great role models for others
  • Kids have ideas about how the world should be and can be empowered to express and action their ideas



What do I do? The Field Trip is a weekly program which runs every Sunday 3:30-5pm in various locations. The program is about young people finding their passion, peers and path and feeling empowered to be our next generation of thinkers, doers, creators, innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, philosophers, philanthropists and leaders. It matters because if not now, then when? If not us, then who?

It matters because if not now, then when? If not us, then who?

The Field Trip Founders: 

  • Paul Kooperman, an author, playwright and screenwriter with significant experience in leadership, management and community development and
  • Beth Heflin Cauvel, currently managing the Study Abroad Program at Shepherd University.
15 kids from Macedon Ranges are teaming up with a Men's Shed and architect to design and build a cubby house, which will be auctioned off and all proceeds given to homeless charity Urban Seed. Bridget (12) and Lauren (10) Bourke; Liam (11) and Logan (9) Johnston; Arie Sawyer (11); Chloe (11), Lily (9), and Zak (10) Hansen at work on the cubby. Picture Jay Town.

15 kids from Macedon Ranges are teaming up with a Men’s Shed and architect to design and build a cubby house, which will be auctioned off and all proceeds given to homeless charity Urban Seed. Bridget (12) and Lauren (10) Bourke; Liam (11) and Logan (9) Johnston; Arie Sawyer (11); Chloe (11), Lily (9), and Zak (10) Hansen at work on the cubby.
Picture Jay Town.


Every person born into this world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique. It is the duty of every person to know and consider that she is unique in the world in her particular character and that there has never been someone like her before. For if there had been someone like her before, there would be no need for her to be in the world. Every single person is a new thing in the world and is called upon to fulfil her particularity in the world.

Martin Buber


#MakeYourMark #YouthLeadership #YouthEmployment #YouthGroupAustralia  

Website:  www.thefieldtrip.co     

email: info@thefieldtrip.co

Twitter: @thefieldtripp  

Instagram @the_field_trip 

Facebook: thefieldtrip2015 

The latest Field Trip project :

This term Field Trip members aged 10-24 are becoming the authors of their own lives, writing the book “Where I Live” about their homes, towns, lives, communities and world perspectives. An intimate insight into how kids think, feel and express themselves.

Where I Live”  check it out and or  buy it

Penh Lane | empowering people through business

We believe in honest design, fair trade and empowering people through business

Penh Lane – beautiful products; handcrafted with love.

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Sela, Jane, Aza and Kunteah.   2011

Jewellers from Khmer Creations with Jane Darbyshire. (L-R) Sela, Jane, Aza and Kunteah.


We give a damn because everyone has the right to enjoy their job, be paid fairly for their time and effort, but above all, everyone should have the opportunity to grow and explore what they want in their career and ultimately be fulfilled – people shouldn’t have to work just to get by. We also give a damn about our stylish customers! Everyone should have access to ethically made, high-quality products and be happy with the knowledge that the producers have earned a fair wage, in fair conditions and have loved every minute of their work.

What we do

We partner with artisans in Cambodia to produce ethical fashion products for the Australian (and international) market. We bring stylish fashion to you and ensure the artisans benefit from your exquisite taste.

Why it Matters

For a great number of Cambodians, there are limited opportunities for safe, satisfying and rewarding employment. Many people, especially vulnerable women, only have the option of entering exploitative industries such as forced sex work or garment factories to earn an income. Through trading with Cambodian social businesses, we help to drive the demand that fosters a fair and rewarding system where everyone benefits, including the customer.

Directors:  Jane Darbyshire, Terry-ann Holloway and Matt Linfoot
Penh Lane – beautiful products; handcrafted with love.
We believe in honest design, fair trade and empowering people through business.