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Application Process

The GSBI offers a platform of programs designed to support social entrepreneurs at various stages of their lifecycle. We offer a single application for all of our programs. To apply, complete our application (hosted on the F6S site) at any time. We will pull from the application pool to select participants for our Boost, Online, and Accelerator programs. 

● Applications received before October 16, 2015 will be considered for the 2016 Accelerator cohort 
● Applications received before April 27, 2015 will be considered for the next Online cohort 
● We are not currently accepting applications for Boost. 

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Who Should Apply

The GSBI works with entrepreneurs whose organizations are addressing the worlds most pressing problems with market-based solutions. This includes for-profits, non-profits, and hybrids with impact in base of pyramid communities, or, whose primary beneficiaries are living below the poverty line. 

The social entrepreneur who participates should hold a senior leadership role within the organization, with the authority to make top-level strategic decisions. 

This program is for leaders of social enterprises that: 

● Place equal or greater emphasis on social impact vs. financial return
● Serve the underserved (those that for reasons of economics, gender, geography, etc. have unequal access to energy, clean water, information and communication technology, education, health, or economic development and livelihood opportunities) 
● Address a problem that affects more than one million people worldwide 
● Have a product or service with measurable social impact The social entrepreneur must be committed to creating an organization that: 

● Is capable of attaining financial sustainability 
● Reaches increasingly larger numbers of beneficiaries 
● Measures systematically their social impact


Selection Process

Completed applications are evaluated based on the strength of their Impact & Business Model, Marketing & Sales, Operations Model, Management & Team, and Financials using a Stage Assessment Tool. Submitted applications are reviewed and determine which entrepreneurs are invited to a phone interview with GSBI staff and mentors. The strength of the application and performance on a 30-minute interview determines the finalists selected to begin the program. Successful applicants are able to demonstrate: 

● Compelling business model 
● Metrics provide proof that impact model has desired social impact 
● Evidence that customers receive value of the product/service and are willing to use or pay (as appropriate) for it. 
● Financial statements that document investments, revenue, and expenses to date. 

Help with Your Application

If you want an edge in the application process, or just need a refresher on some terminology, see the accompanying Application Resource Guide. It borrows from GSBI’s tried and tested curriculum and helps you refresh things like your mission statement, value proposition, and business plan summary.  


No cost to Social entrepreneurs

The program is offered at no cost to participating entrepreneurs. Participants in the GSBI Accelerator are only expected to pay for roundtrip airfare to San Jose or San Francisco, California for the August in-residence. Program staff time, in-residence meals, and accommodations are all paid for through the fundraising efforts of the GSBI. The GSBI is part of the nonprofit, Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University, that raises funds year-round through individuals, foundations, and corporations in order to offer programs free of charge to the organizations selected into GSBI programs. 

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