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Applications Open Now for Santa Clara University's 10th Annual Training Program for Global Social Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011
Up to 20 candidates will be selected through a competitive process via the Skoll Foundation’s Social Edge platform. Winners will attend the Summer 2012 boot camp on a full scholarship.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. Dec. 13, 2011—Social entrepreneurs from around the world are invited to apply for the 10th annual Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI™), one of the oldest and most immediately beneficial mentoring and training programs for social entrepreneurs around the world.
The GSBI, the signature program of Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society, is designed to help leaders of social-benefit enterprises create sustainable and scalable business plans that maximize social impact—be it electricity for communities that lack grid power, food for starving children, or economic development for impoverished, unemployed populations.
The application process for GSBI is open on Social Edge, the online community for social entrepreneurs and a program of the Skoll Foundation (www.socialedge.org). Social benefit entrepreneurs from around the world can download the application now, and will be able to submit the first of three application exercises beginning January 3, 2012.
Up to 20 candidates, who best demonstrate a sustainable and scalable approach to addressing urgent human needs throughout the world, will be chosen to receive a full GSBI scholarship valued at US$25,000.
Chosen entrepreneurs receive four months of online mentoring by Silicon Valley executive-level mentors on several assignments, culminating in their attendance at a motivating two-week summer in-residence program focused on venture planning, beneficiary analysis, business models, metrics, and successful scaling strategies. This year’s in-residence program will take place Aug. 12-24, 2012, at Santa Clara University.
The scholarships cover mentoring and tuition, room, and board for the two-week in-residence program. Candidates are responsible for their own travel expenses. The winners will be announced no later than April 17, 2012.
“2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the Global Social Benefit Incubator,” says Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society. “Since its inception in 2003, the GSBI has mentored nearly 140 entrepreneurs from more than 20 countries. More than 90 percent of these ventures are still extant, most are scaling rapidly, and collectively they’ve positively impacted the lives of over 70 million people in base-of-pyramid communities.”
Energy and Health a Special Focus
For the third year in a row, the GSBI will place a priority on admitting social entrepreneurs who are using technology and sustainable, scalable business models to provide energy to the underserved in developing countries. Up to one-third of the GSBI scholarships will be awarded to those providing electricity to populations that are off-the-grid or suffer frequent disruptions in their energy supplies.
Up to six others will be awarded to ventures providing services for health care, including clean water, sanitation, or improved maternal and child health. The GSBI will give special consideration to mobile technologies centered on those applications.
“The GSBI has focused for a number of years on critical sectors such as off-grid electrification and mobile health technologies,” says Kreiner. “That has enabled us to build up a much deeper understanding of what it takes technically, organizationally, and systemically to have a larger, more lasting impact on the variety of poor communities worldwide.”
The Benefits of Applying
Even before the winning attendees are chosen, all those who apply and follow the interactive three-exercise application process stand to benefit from feedback provided by graduate-level mentors from Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. The mentors help applicants home in on the three elements of the application: target market, value proposition, and business model. Many applicants have commented that they learned a tremendous amount through the process.
“Applicants receive advice on their business proposition, their strategy, and their application,” says Victor d'Allant, executive director of Social Edge. “This interaction helps them convey their story in a more compelling way and helps them clarify their impact and strategy for scaling their ventures.”
Starting immediately, social entrepreneurs around the world may visit http://www.socialedge.org/features/gsbi to download their application. There is no application fee. Candidates can prepare their applications now and post them online starting January 3, 2012.
In the past, GSBI scholars have come from all over the world: Costa Rica, India, Namibia, Mexico, Philippines, Rwanda, Argentina, Cambodia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Jordan, Guatemala, Laos, Nepal, Bolivia, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Canada, Haiti, Indonesia, Vanuatu, and the United States. The cross-cultural community of support and personalized mentorship helps social entrepreneurs progress more rapidly than they would otherwise, and builds a strong network formed among fellow attendees and their Silicon Valley mentors.
More information can be found at Global Social Benefit Incubator at Santa Clara University, www.scu.edu/socialbenefit/programs/gsbi/ and at Social Edge, a program of the Skoll Foundation, www.socialedge.org/features/gsbi.
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