Mitigating Poverty and Protecting the Planet Through Social Entrepreneurship
Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) welcomes new cohorts of social entrepreneurs seeking to end global poverty and protect the planet, with a focus on women’s economic empowerment and climate resilience.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 12, 2018 —Forty-one organizations from around the world have been selected to participate in the largest and most successful university-based social enterprise accelerator in the world, the Global Social Benefit Institute, (GSBI®).
Located at Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, GSBI has for 15 years brought together global social enterprise leaders with Silicon Valley business executives, student fellows and funders. This, along with a proven methodology, has assisted social entrepreneurs in reaching their next levels of business growth and impact.
Masters of the “Missing Middle”
Miller Center has an established expertise in helping social entrepreneurs navigate a notoriously difficult phase of funding known as the “missing middle.” That’s when they’ve exhausted grants or other early-phase startup funds, but have not yet developed a blueprint to scale or established the investment readiness to garner between $50,000 and $2 million investments. The incoming cohorts of social entrepreneurs will work with their executive mentors to identify appropriate growth and funding strategies, with supporting materials. In total, Miller Center has supported 819 social enterprises that have raised $580 million in funding, allowing them to positively impact 259 million people.
Two GSBI Accelerator Cohorts
Of the organizations selected for GSBI 2018, one group of 20 social enterprises will attend the 9-month GSBI In-residence accelerator, geared toward mature organizations that are on the cusp of scaling —taking their businesses to new geographic regions or reaching exponentially more beneficiaries. GSBI In-residence accelerator participants come to Santa Clara University’s Silicon Valley campus for ten days in the summer, for intensive mentoring and preparation for short presentations to an audience of 200 at an annual Investor Showcase.
Another 21 will receive six months of online-only training, via the GSBI Online accelerator, geared toward emerging social enterprises that need help validating their business models, developing strategies for growth, and creating communication tools for investors and partners. They receive customized online mentoring from individually matched, seasoned volunteer executive mentors.
Women and Climate Focused
In keeping with Miller Center’s mission, the enterprises chosen to receive training are focused primarily in two areas related to poverty eradication: Women Rising or Climate Resilience. Companies like Bidhaa Sasa, ClickMedix, and ENVenture are led by women and support women through employment opportunities or health-access tools. Organizations like Azimuth, EarthSpark International, Good Nature Agro, SEWA Grih Rin Limited, and Untapped are helping communities develop capacity to withstand the effects of climate change by providing renewable and off-grid energy products and tools, developing and increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers, creating more affordable housing options, and helping secure clean water.
“Climate change affects the poor the most, and among the poor, women and children. Creating resilience to climate change in poor communities and economically empowering women are the most powerful levers for poverty eradication," said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director of Miller Center. "We are delighted to welcome two more GSBI accelerator cohorts to our family of social enterprises committed to creating a more just, humane, and sustainable world."
Miller Center received applications from 250 organizations.
The program has achieved stellar results in its 15 years of operation:
- 819 social entrepreneurs have gone through GSBI accelerator programs
- Alumni organizations have raised $580 million in investments
- Alumni have collectively impacted 259 million lives through their social enterprises.
About Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is the largest and most successful university-based social enterprise accelerator in the world. Founded in 1997, Miller Center is one of three Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University and is located in the heart of the world’s most entrepreneurial ecosystem. We leverage the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ethos of Silicon Valley and underpin it with the Jesuit heritage of service to the poor and protection of the planet. To learn more about the Center or any of its social entrepreneurship programs, visit www.scu.edu/MillerCenter.
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 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry and theology; and law and engineering doctoral degrees. 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 www.scu.edu.
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