Since 2011, Upaya has pioneered investing in and consulting with small businesses to promote job creation for the poorest of the poor. Upaya has invested in 16 companies that have collectively created over 12,000 jobs as of December 2018. By design, Upaya’s active portfolio is equally balanced between men and women-led companies. In 2017, we launched an accelerator program through which Upaya provides capacity building while making investment evaluations. In each accelerator, Upaya selects 8 - 12 businesses for a four-month program in which our staff and industry experts provide valuable training on financial and impact management both in a classroom setting and through hands-on customized support. The objective of these workshops is to understand the business economic model and growth potential. At the end of the program, Upaya selects one to three businesses for seed stage investment and also facilitates connections to other impact investors interested in the sector. Upaya also invests opportunistically in companies that demonstrate significant job creation potential—at least 1000 jobs in the three years.