For 6 months, the entrepreneurs work online with their mentors to improve the business strategy, operational planning, metrics, and financials of their for-profit, hybrid, or non-profit organizations and to powerfully communicate their missions. Mentoring is at the core of the program. Each social entrepreneur selected as a part of each GSBI Online cohort is paired with one Silicon Valley executive mentor. GSBI Mentors are successful Silicon Valley executives, many of whom are founders of NASDAQ companies, venture capitalists, and executives at Fortune 500 companies.
GSBI Online addresses several key needs for social enterprises ready to validate their plans:
The expected outcome of GSBI Online is for the enterprise to move from the validation stage to the prepare to scale stage. Principally, this means that the enterprise will have a strategy for growing the enterprise in a financially sustainable manner through a validated business model.
By the end of the program, participating enterprises will have developed worksheets that can be used internally for organizational planning, well-defined pieces of a business plan that participants can copy and paste into proposals and applications, including: impact metrics and operational metrics, funding ask, investor presentation slide deck, list of potential funders, and a stage assessment and action plan with strategic initiatives.
GSBI Online was piloted in 2012 with support from the World Bank Development Marketplace and is currently offered twice per year. GSBI Online prepares entrepreneurs for the more advanced level of training provided by the GSBI Accelerator.