In October, Polished Man is asking men to paint one fingernail to raise awareness and funds to prevent violence against children. The campaign is just one of those supported by YGAP. Olivia Gibson investigates.

For some people, their idea of an entrepreneur might be a Silicon Valley hopeful, touting a grand tech-age plan, with a proposed global reach and a promise to bring in huge revenue. For Melbourne-based organisation YGAP, an impact entrepreneur could look more like a Kenyan woman encouraging children to stay at school with the promise of a nutritious lunch. Or a Soweto-raised man with an innovative method of helping informal street rubbish collectors formalise their role and increase their income by selling advertising space on their bins.

It is these types of impact entrepreneurs, or “local leaders” as YGAP likes to call them – people with ideas that seek to improve the lives of others in their community – that are at the core of YGAP’s mission to deliver localised improvement to the lives of those living in poverty.

“We exist to find emerging leaders with big ideas to end poverty,” YGAP co-founder and CEO Elliot Costello says.

Elliot is the son of Tim Costello, the always prominent, occasionally outspoken CEO of World Vision Australia, who will transition to the role of “chief advocate” at the organisation in November 2016.

International development was in his blood, Elliot says. “I grew up in a family that had a significant interest and involvement in philanthropic endeavours… I always wanted to contribute to change,” he says.

Running as a non-profit organisation, YGAP uses funds raised through campaigns and, crucially, its own social entrepreneurial endeavours to mentor and assist local leaders such as Sifiso Ngobese from Soweto, and Wawira Njiru in Ruiru, Kenya, and ultimately scale their impact.

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