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June 2014

New Partnership Aims to Channel Venture Capital Toward Promising Solutions to World Poverty

Introducing investment-ready social entrepreneurs to "impact investors" is the idea behind a new partnership between Santa Clara University’s social-entrepreneurship mentoring program Global Social Benefit Institute and Toniic LLC, a global network of investors focused on social enterprise.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 19, 2014— In 2010, Clínicas del Azúcar was a promising business that was discovering ways to drastically cut the cost of diabetes care for the estimated 12 million residents of Mexico who suffer from the disease. But it wasn’t until three years later, when a syndicate of investors discovered their progress and potential, that they received a crucial $1.3 million investment that has enabled Clínicas del Azúcar to triple their beneficiaries, from 1,000 to 3,000. 
Introducing investment-ready social entrepreneurs such as Clínicas del Azúcar to investors who have experience in the field of “impact investing” is the idea behind a new partnership between Santa Clara University’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®), which provides intense training and mentorship for social enterprises around the world, and Toniic LLC, a global network of investors focused on social enterprise. 
“This partnership will connect a concentrated group of high-potential social entrepreneurs with one of the largest global networks of high-impact investors—channeling venture capital to fund sustainable solutions to our world’s most pressing problems,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director of Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS), home of the GSBI.
At the heart of the agreement is a shared drive to provide those living in poverty with basic human needs, such as affordable clean energy, safe drinking water, quality health care, education, jobs, and economic opportunity.
The GSBI-Toniic partnership will magnify each organization’s ability to effect meaningful change.  Impact investors are ready to use their resources for social good, but struggle to find investment-ready social enterprises that have a proven business plan, strong management team, and a viable business model.  
“Doing due diligence on social enterprises thousands of miles away can be costly and lengthy,” notes Stephanie Cohn Rupp, CEO of Toniic. “GSBI provides a significant screen and enhanced quality control for Toniic investors that gives us an extra level of confidence.”
In its annual program the GSBI Accelerator, high-potential entrepreneurs are offered rigorous training and mentorship to become investment-ready and able to multiply their reach and impact.  GSBI has worked with some of the finest social entrepreneurs operating today, including micro-lender Kiva, Husk Power Systems, and eyeglass provider VisionSpring.
"Both Toniic and GSBI seek to address the global challenges of deepening poverty and increasing inequality by enabling more impact investors to use their capital to support and scale stronger social businesses. We are excited to partner with GSBI, whose partnership will provide us with high-quality investment opportunities for our global investors." said Toniic’s chief investment officer and head of Asia Pacific, Shalaka Joshi, based in Mumbai.
The GSBI-Toniic partnership includes plans to create an executive education program for new and seasoned impact investors, as a way of sharing best practices in the sector.  The curriculum is currently in development with philanthropist-education group, The Philanthropy Workshop West, as a co-creator.
“We are thrilled to team up with Toniic, one of the few  global networks of impact investors, to expand funding options for  our incredible line-up of social entrepreneurs,” said Pamela Roussos, director of strategic alliances at CSTS.   “Toniic is a pool of sophisticated investors with high expectations that matches and elevates our own work.”   
About GSBI
The Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) is a leader in accelerating global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. The GSBI currently offers two capacity development programs to global social entrepreneurs: the GSBI Accelerator, for more advanced social enterprises seeking to scale their business, and GSBI Online, for earlier stage ventures seeking basic business training. Both programs are designed for high engagement between entrepreneurs, mentors and GSBI program staff.  To date, the over 200 social enterprises that completed the GSBI programs have gone on to impact the lives of 100 million people worldwide.
About Toniic
Toniic is a global network of action-oriented impact investors, both individuals and institutions. We increase the velocity of money and services into impact investing to address global challenges. Our members commit to discover, evaluate, nurture and invest in entrepreneurs, enterprises and funds that promote a just and sustainable economy.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see
Media Contacts
Jessica Loman | Director, Toniic | | 804-814-3195
Jaime Gusching | CSTS | | 408-554-6048
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5121