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Twenty global entrepreneurs chosen for summer business incubator program
Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 7 — Teaching slum dwellers in Guatemala to sell worm byproducts as fertilizer. Helping disabled Nigerians become business owners rather than beggars. Turning weeds in India into fuel.
These are some of the noble ventures being undertaken by the 20 “social entrepreneurs” who have been selected to join the seventh annual Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) at Santa Clara University.
The program, which received over 350 applications—triple last year’s total—taps Silicon Valley veteran financiers, marketers, and executives as well as Santa Clara University faculty to help promising but resource-starved entrepreneurs with key business concepts: completing a cohesive business plan, generating ideas for funding sources and investors, and finding ways to increase their impact while maintaining positive cash flow.
The entrepreneurs get months of coaching from afar from Silicon Valley executive mentors like Tim Haley and Jeff Miller. Then, in mid-August, they come to SCU’s campus for a two-week “boot camp’’ of back-to-back classes, lectures, business-plan honing, and cross-pollination with other entrepreneurs.
Members of this year’s class are working on businesses that improve the lives and increase the economic self-reliance of their countries’ poorest residents. They are focused in four general areas: information and communication technology; economic development; environmental or alternative energy; and health and education. Among the businesses:
Businesses that have graduated from the GSBI™ program have gone on to collectively 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.
GSBI™ is funded in-part by grants from the Skoll Foundation, the Palo Alto–based supporter of global social entrepreneurs created by eBay’s founding president Jeff Skoll, the education-focused Robert N. Noyce Foundation, created in honor of the cofounder of Intel, and the Palo Alto-based Peery Foundation, a family foundation established to empower youth, reduce poverty and encourage social entrepreneurship in the Bay Area and around the world.
“The online application process for the Global Social Benefit Incubator, taking place every year on Social Edge, has become a unique learning experience for social entrepreneurs who have a chance to refine their business model with the help of Santa Clara University’s talented community,” said Victor d’Allant, executive director of Social Edge, the Skoll Foundation’s online community for social entrepreneurs.
“We are gratified that each year the GSBI attracts interest from some of the most gifted and promising social entrepreneurs in the world,” said Jim Koch, Bill and Jan Terry Professor of Management at SCU, who cofounded GSBI in 2003.
About the Global Social Benefit Incubator GSBI
About Santa Clara University
Media Contact: Deborah Lohse, SCU Assistant Media Relations Director, (408) 554-5121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.