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September 2014

eBay Foundation and Santa Clara University Partner to Bring SCU’s Proven Training Program for Social Entrepreneurs to 11 Bay Area Organizations Serving Low-Income Residents

A new program being offered by Santa Clara University and eBay Foundation will bring the best lessons from "social entrepreneurship" to 11 Bay Area organizations.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 22, 2014 — A new program being offered by Santa Clara University and eBay Foundation will bring the best lessons from “social entrepreneurship” to 11 Bay Area organizations.

The chosen organizations help provide jobs, education and livelihoods to low-income people struggling to get by in one of the world’s wealthiest areas. Among the organizations: San Jose-based Ivy Business Institute. which helps Chinese women in the Bay Area start or fortify their own small businesses, and Oakland’s The Stride Center, which is seeking to open a Silicon Valley hub to help thousands more lower-income workers with job training and support services.

The program, called a "boost" camp, builds upon SCU’s proven and successful 13-year-old mentoring and training program for global social entrepreneurs, the Global Social Benefit Institute ® (GSBI).  GSBI works with established or startup organizations, providing them mentoring by Silicon Valley executives or industry professionals, along with months of online training using an established set of interactive business-training modules. 

The two-day GSBI Boost Camp will take place at Santa Clara University on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26. Leaders from the 11 organizations will attend sessions on topics vital to “social entrepreneurs,” -- businesses or nonprofits that seek to solve vital social problems while also creating sustainable businesses. They will be given feedback about their readiness to grow sustainably and an action plan for doing so.

“Over the last 12 years, we have helped nearly 250 organizations across the globe strengthen and grow their socially beneficial businesses to reach greater numbers of people,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director of Santa Clara’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society, which is putting on the GSBI Boost program. “When eBay Foundation expressed a desire to provide similar support for local companies working to help eradicate poverty in the Bay Area, we jumped at the opportunity.”

eBay Foundation became involved in the Boost via its strategic grant-making initiative, called The Opportunity Project, which seeks to support and accelerate market-based approaches that enhance livelihood opportunities, reduce poverty, and give people a better standard of living in the U.S. and in emerging markets. The Foundation strives to scale the impact of social enterprises that are focused on helping micro and small business owners increase or expand their incomes, the number of quality jobs, and access to affordable goods and services.

"eBay Foundation supports social entrepreneurs with new, systems-changing models to creating livelihoods for people," said Julie Vennewitz-Pierce, Senior Program Manager at eBay. “We're proud to help GSBI bring its proven training program to innovators who are doing this work right here in our backyard in the Bay Area."

The Bay Area organizations participating in the Boost program include:

Year Up (San Jose). Provides 80 urban young people annually with skills, experience and support to move on in careers or education.

Work2Future Foundation (San Jose). Helps 3,000 adults and 260 low-income youth each year with work readiness and other preparation for work or additional education.

The Stride Center (Oakland). Micro-community college -- planning a Silicon Valley hub office --  that has helped more than 1000 students with social support, life/work skills assistance, technical training, career coaching and placement help.

Snapbasket (Los Altos). Prototype grocery pricing tool for low-income individuals. Seeking to pilot in the Bay Area.

Snart Reentry Technology Initiative (San Francisco). Provides Internet and other resources to  more than 200 ex-offenders, to help them access resources to re-enter the workforce. Seeking to help  needy veterans and homeless individuals as well.

PCSJ Works (SCU). Business plan to empower urban poor through alternative food distribution networks to bring jobs and healthy food to underprivileged consumers. 

Ivy Business Institute (San Jose) Train and provide networking for Chinese women to start or strengthen personal businesses via consulting and capacity building.

Grounded Guild (San Francisco) . Plans to support the movement toward home-based funerals and green burials through web-based systems for management, collaboration, procurement, and marketing.

Downtown Streets Team (San Jose) Provides more than 400 homeless or low-income men and women annually with stipends or services in exchange for cleaning streets or waterways in their communities. Seeking to provide a living wage for those transitioning out of homelessness.

Catholic Charities (San Jose) Provides an array of social services to more than 40,000 individuals a year, with a goal of moving them out of poverty, toward self-sufficiency and stability.

Anee Brar Consulting (Oakland) Has helped more than 13,000 families save for college via a software platform that uses behavioral economics and big data.

About the Global Social Benefit Institute®
GSBI believes innovation and entrepreneurship provide a path out of poverty. We build the capacity of entrepreneurs dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing issues. Executive mentorship combined with structured curriculum are the foundation of our theory of change.  Based in the heart of Silicon Valley at Santa Clara University, we combine Silicon Valley acumen and a drive to eradicate poverty and support social entrepreneurs around the world through their entire lifecycle. GSBI offers three distinct capacity development programs for social entrepreneurs and on-going support for alumni. Each program involves high engagement among entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley mentors, and program staff. GSBI has helped more than 250 social enterprises build sustainable, scalable business models to benefit the lives of 107 million people worldwide. 90% of ventures are still operating, 40% are scaling, and $96 million has been invested in GSBI alumni organizations.

About eBay Foundation
The first corporate foundation to be endowed with pre-IPO stock, eBay Foundation was established in 1998, underscoring our early commitment to philanthropy. In 2013, eBay Foundation made a total of $4.3 million in grants to nonprofit organizations worldwide, bringing total giving since inception to over $30 million. The Foundation emphasizes two primary areas of focus: creating economic opportunity and community giving.

Media Contacts
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5121
Julie Vennewitz-Pierce | eBay Foundation | | 408-376-6656