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About the GSBI
We collaborate with a diverse group of partners including successful Silicon Valley executives, academic leaders, and the network of Jesuit universities. Our mentoring network helps participants scale their ventures to create jobs, sell their products and services, and solve problems internationally.
Overview of the Program
Applicants must provide a recorded elevator pitch; a business plan; a one-year operating plan; and financial statements. Applicants will be evaluated based on a scoring matrix that includes: strength of mission, financial sustainability,potential for scale, potential for social impact, management capacity, and business model efficacy. Social enterprises focused on off-grid clean energy, health, and mobile applications for any sector are especially encouraged to apply.Top applicants will be interviewed in March and participants announced by early April. Each social enterprise will then be partnered online with 2-3 GSBI Mentors to complete tailored pre-work exercises aimed at developing detailed scaling plans that credibly articulate the human and financial capital requirements for successful implementation and operational excellence. Social entrepreneurs who apply and win GSBI scholarships build capacity to effect systemic change through our proven combination of curriculum and individualized mentoring. We help participants create strategic business plans that they can confidently present to impact investors and other funders around the world.
Santa Clara University, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, serves as the setting for the intense two-week in-residence"boot camp" in August. Classroom sessions led by noted faculty and renowned experts complement peer-to-peer collaboration and mentoring with the Silicon Valley executive teams. Participants "stress test" business plans through curriculum, presentation, and feedback sessions. The in-residence culminates with formal business plan presentations to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
Connecting Impact Investors to Build Stronger Enterprises
GSBI aligns participating enterprises in the cohort with its Impact Investment Partners, who will provide input that enables tailored curriculum to make the enterprises more attractive to potential investors and more likely to achieve significant impact. GSBI's Impact Investor Partners include Accion, Acumen Fund, Beyond Capital Fund, The Eleos Foundation, Invested Development, and Hub Ventures, among others.
Since 2003, over 180 award-winning social enterprises have attended this program to become part of a growing network of path finding alumni for creating a more just and sustainable world. Nearly 95 percent of GSBI Alumni are still working in their social ventures and more than 50 percent are scaling, meaning that revenue is growing faster than expenses. This scaling rate is more than three times that of conventional for-profit ventures. More than 70 million people have benefited from the work of the GSBI Alumni. Of those organizations that are scaling, approximately 80 percent report that the GSBI had a "high" or "very high"impact on the success of their organizations.