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 Calling All Social Entrepreneurs

Applications are now being accepted for GSBI Online, the online version of Santa Clara University’s highly regarded, 11-year-old training program for worldwide social-entrepreneur ventures, the Global Social Benefit Incubator or GSBI™.

Applications are due July 15, and can be found at www.scu.edu/socialbenefit/entrepreneurship/gsbi/online.cfm.

Up to 20 ventures will be selected and given a scholarship for the six-month program. Those selected will be notified in early September.

GSBI Online helps early-stage social enterprises that have the potential to create significant social impact through financially sustainable operations. The structured curriculum uses a methodology honed at GSBI over the past decade, while also incorporating the best practices of today’s on-demand, online learning.

Each entrepreneur accepted into GSBI Online will be guided by two mentors: an experienced Silicon Valley corporate-level executive as well as a local in-country executive, each of whom provides hands-on assistance and mentoring throughout the program.

The rigorous curriculum will last from October 2013 through March 2014. Successful participants will graduate from the GSBI Online program armed with a fundable plan for scaling their organization, which includes a business-plan summary presentation, an “elevator pitch,” a one-year operating plan, and an innovation profile.

GSBI Online modules will enable participants to: clarify business objectives including mission, opportunity, and strategies; examine the external environment affecting the business; segment the target market; analyze the “value chain” of vendors and partners; properly organize and staff the business; develop a business model; identify appropriate success metrics; produce a one-year operating plan; and explore financing strategies.

“Having mentors from their home countries as well as Silicon Valley helps GSBI Online entrepreneurs better navigate their local cultures and economies, while taking advantage of Silicon Valley’s unique startup acumen, global perspective, and culture of innovation,” said Cassandra Thomassin, senior program manager for the GSBI program.

“We are indebted to Applied Materials for their support of this cohort and enabling us to take this next step in bringing our world-class GSBI program to more social enterprises in frontier markets,” continued Thomassin.

“The GSBI Online program was a wonderful experience. We learned a lot and maintained a fast tempo every day,” said Santosh Ostwal, CEO and founding director of Ossian Agro Automation Pvt. in Pune, India, a recent graduate of GSBI Online’s second cohort. “The GSBI team worked with me throughout the process. It was a lot of hard work, excitement, and fun, as well as tension, fear, and worry—but now I know I will accomplish the dreams GSBI expects from us.”

For more details about the program, visit the Center for Science, Technology, and Society’s website at www.scu.edu/socialbenefit/. For questions regarding the program please send an email to gsbi@scu.edu.

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