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Entrepreneurs with a Higher Purpose
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010
Entrepreneurs with a Higher Purpose: 21 Global Social Entrepreneurs Coming to Santa Clara University Aug. 15-27 for Silicon Valley Mentoring and Training
SANTA CLARA, Calif.,July 23, 2010— It’s not every day that a South African entrepreneur bringing electricity to remote parts of Africa can spend a year with two Silicon Valley financiers and a retired tech executive. And not often does the founder of a company bringing solar-powered refrigeration to Indian dairy farmers get to consult a veteran CEO in the industry.
But for the eighth year in a row, more than 20 such social entrepreneurs have been invited to Santa Clara University’s Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI™), a fully funded, 12-month program offering Internet-based mentoring and two weeks of intensive classroom instruction to social entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs hail from more than a dozen countries, and typically have award-winning, but resource-starved, ventures that aim to alleviate poverty or empower human development.
From August 15 to August 27, the GSBI Class of 2010 will be at Santa Clara University’s campus for courses in business planning, management and core business concepts.
In addition to attending back-to-back classes daily, the participants will spend their time honing their own business plans that they will present to experienced U.S. financiers at the conclusion of their stay. The business plan presentations, which are open to the public, will take place Aug. 26 at the Locatelli Student Center on campus. Information on attending the business plan presentations is available at CSTS.
For eight years, the University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society—GSBI’s sponsor—has tapped veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, marketers, and venture capitalists to work alongside Santa Clara faculty to help social entrepreneurs expand and mature their noble ventures. Enterprises that have graduated from the GSBI program have, collectively, gone on to serve or benefit millions of people. Alumni include the micro-lending website Kiva.org, African solar-radio maker Freeplay Foundation, and reading-glasses provider Vision Spring.
A list of program mentors is available at CSTS.
This year, the program has a special focus on finding renewable sources of electricity for underserved populations in developing countries, with about half the attendees focused on finding or using such power in parts of the world where reliable energy is lacking.
Other areas of focus for incoming social ventures include information and communication technology, economic development, health, and education.
Among the ventures to be represented in this year’s GSBI class:
* AVANI provides cooking gas made from pine needles to households in the Uttarakhand region of India.
For more details about the program and this year’s GSBI class, visit the Center for Science, Technology, and Society’s website at www.scu.edu/sts/gsbi.
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