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Solar Power: Not Just for Rooftops Anymore
Monday, Aug. 2, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug.2, 2010 —Social entrepreneurs from around the globe are finding unique ways to use the sun to solve problems from infant mortality to rotten milk. Several such companies will be attending Santa Clara University’s annual business training and summer “boot camp,” Aug. 15 to 27.
-- Giving birth at night: WE CARE Solar, Nigeria creates portable solar electric systems used in mobile obstetric health care facilities, reducing infant morbidity and mortality in regions without reliable electricity.
-- Keeping milk cool, via the sun: Promethean Power Systems, India makes a solar-powered cooling system for commercial cold-storage to preserve food and enable dairy farmers to keep their milk and other products viable for a longer period.
--Hearing aids, powered by the sun: Solar Ear, makes affordable solar-powered hearing aids with longer-lasting batteries, which also creates work and development opportunities for people with disabilities worldwide.
These three businesses are only some of the 21 social entrepreneurs attending Santa Clara University’s eighth annual Global Social Benefit Incubator, (GSBI™). GSBI is a fully funded, 12-month program for social entrepreneurs with promising, but often resource-starved, businesses. At GSBI they work with experienced mentors on concepts like completing a cohesive business plan, generating ideas for capital investment sources, and increasing their impact while maintaining cash flow. The in-residence “boot camp” takes place on Santa Clara University’s campus Aug. 15–27, 2010.
This year’s program has a special focus on renewable energy. Roughly half the class is comprised of enterprises focused on renewable sources of electricity for underserved populations around the world, or on developing low-cost appliances and that use alternative energy sources. Profiles about the incoming Class of 2010, GSBI’s largest class ever, can be found at http://www.scu.edu/sts/gsbi/socialentrepreneurs/2010.cfm
GSBI has helped dozens of businesses move from award-winning startup enterprises to mature, viable businesses collectively helping millions of people. Well-known alumni of GSBI include the micro-lending website Kiva.org, African solar-radio maker Freeplay Foundation, and reading-glasses provider Vision Spring.
Other 2010 attendees include:
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