World’s First Accelerator Dedicated to Impacting Millions of Girls in Poverty

Introducing The Girl Effect Accelerator

The Girl Effect Accelerator represents the first program of its kind: an international accelerator dedicated exclusively to scaling up ventures that are positioned to benefit millions of girls in poverty. Today, less than two cents of every international development dollar goes to girls—the very people who we believe could do most to end poverty. If we don’t put girls at the center of development, the world misses out on a tremendous opportunity for change. So, this past year our team at Unreasonable Group was privileged to partner with the Nike Foundation (co-founders of the Girl Effect) to launch this program in an effort to make girls visible to the entrepreneurial, business, and investment worlds.

If we don’t put girls at the center of development, the world misses out on a tremendous opportunity for change. Tweet This Quote

We launched our inaugural program this November just outside of San Francisco. Throughout the program, we aligned 10 ventures with world-class mentorship, strategic financing, and access to a global network of support. Our ultimate aim was to rapidly scale up the benefit these ventures can bring to girls in poverty. We are going to continue to work with each company on this mission into the years to come.

How we selected the companies

A lot of people ask us how we went about determining which companies should participate in the inaugural program. Unlike other Unreasonable programs where we have an open call for applications, for the Girl Effect Accelerator we scoured the globe and hand picked ventures we were convinced are best positioned to change the game for millions of girls. This was the basic selection criteria we used:

  • For-profit model: Every venture invited into the program is leveraging a for profit business model.
  • Market traction: We wanted to see a majority of selected companies have an annual revenue exceeding $500K in 2013. (Ultimately, the average company selected generated $2.2M in revenue in 2013)
  • Highly scalable: We only invited ventures that we believe are setup to scale internationally and benefit girls in multiple countries.
  • Commitment to girls: The leadership of each venture needed to demonstrate to us a clear commitment to fulfilling the Girl Effect vision.
  • Tracking impact: Each invited venture agreed to actively measure their impact on girls living in poverty on a semi-annual basis.
  • Local teams: We only invited ventures where a majority of their team members live and work in the countries they operate.

Of course, the best way to introduce you to the companies and how their work is positioned around girls is for them to tell you their stories on their own. To this end, in the proceeding 10 days we will feature a post with a TED-style talk that showcases the leadership of each of the companies and their unique potential to unleash the Girl Effect at scale. I hope you enjoy.


This post is part of a series profiling ventures in first accelerator program dedicated to impacting the lives of millions of girls in poverty. For more information on the program, check out the Girl Effect Accelerator website.

About the author

Daniel Epstein

Daniel Epstein

Daniel has an obsession. He believes to his core in the potential of entrepreneurship to solve the greatest challenges of this century and he has dedicated his life accordingly. Today, he is the founder of the Unreasonable Group, of the Unreasonable Institute and a number of other "Unreasonable" companies.