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  •  Sixteen Global Social Entrepreneurs Selected for Pioneering GSBI Accelerator

    Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014

    Sixteen Global Social Entrepreneurs Selected for Santa Clara University’s Pioneering GSBI® Accelerator

    10-month program to advance social enterprises includes August 14-22 in-residence in the heart of Silicon Valley.

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 14, 2014— Sankara Eye Care Institutions aims to eradicate preventable and curable blindness in India by providing free high quality eye care to millions of rural poor. Eco-fuel Africa converts locally sourced farm and municipal waste into clean cooking fuel and organic fertilizers.  Medical Technology Transfer and Services (MTTS) develops, manufactures, and distributes durable devices for intensive newborn care for poor communities in Vietnam. 

    These three well-established “social enterprises”— non-profit organizations or for-profit businesses that seek to address social and environmental problems—are among the 16 chosen for the 12th annual Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) Accelerator program at Santa Clara University. 

    The acclaimed 10-month program pairs one leader from each social enterprise with two experienced, start-up savvy Silicon Valley executives as advisers. The aim is to help the entrepreneurs focus on and solve the largest obstacles keeping their businesses from “scaling,” or reaching more beneficiaries in their home countries or new ones. 

    “This year we received the strongest applicant pool of leading social entrepreneurs to date,” said Cassandra Staff, GSBI’s program director. “This speaks to the value of the GSBI Accelerator program and the impact the program has on preparing mature entrepreneurs for additional investment capital and growth.” 

    Sponsors of the GSBI Accelerator program include: eBay Inc. Foundation, Applied Materials, Skoll Foundation, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and the GSBI Endowment Fund supported by Jeff and Karen Miller and Howard and Alida Charney. 

    After six months of online work with GSBI staff and two Silicon Valley mentors apiece, the cohort will come to Santa Clara University’s campus Aug. 14 for nine days of intensive training that culminates in an “Investor Showcase” Aug. 21. The showcase has become an inspiring event attended by hundreds of impact investors and others interested in accelerating the work of social entrepreneurs. 

    The 16 organizations in this year’s GSBI class operate in countries across the world including Mexico, South Africa, Jordan, and Vietnam. Among the other members of the GSBI Class of 2014 are: a company that makes biodigesters for small scale farmers in Mexico; a Peruvian employer of unskilled labor, whose workers are delivering data services to international clients; a South African company that teaches disadvantaged youth to be self-directed learners and chart careers; and a Chinese provider of renewable solar energy.

    The list of GSBI mentors can be found at http://www.scu.edu/socialbenefit/entrepreneurship/gsbi/mentor.cfm.

    Reporters interested in interviewing any of the entrepreneurs while they are in town or Silicon Valley mentors may contact Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations, dlohse@scu.edu or 408-554-5121. 

    GSBI® Online is a similar program, tailored to early-stage social enterprises, that leverages Silicon Valley acumen and features online modules on business strategy, operational planning, metrics, and financials. Applications are open through Feb. 21 for the next cohort: http://cms.scu.edu/socialbenefit/entrepreneurship/gsbi/

    The follow is a list of 2014 GSBI Accelerator organizations:

    · Buen Manejo del Campo, dba Sistema Biobolsa 

    Sistema Biobolsa revolutionizes small scale agricultural by empowering farmers with high quality, patented biodigester technology, which allows them to convert animal and organic wastes into natural gas and organic fertilizer.  

    http://sistemabiobolsa.com/home/ 

    · Digital Divide Data 

    Digital Divide Data (DDD) is a social enterprise that delivers solutions with impact to meet the data services needs of businesses and institutions worldwide.  DDD pioneered a new model called Impact Sourcing in Cambodia from 2001.  

    http://www.digitaldividedata.org/

    · Eco-fuel Africa Limited 

    Eco-fuel Africa empowers communities in Africa to use tailor-made technology to convert locally sourced farm and municipal waste into clean cooking fuel (green charcoal) and organic fertilizers (biochar). This slows the rate of deforestation, reduces indoor air pollution, improves educational opportunities among girls and women by eliminating the need to search for wood, and reduces malnutrition by providing farmers with organic fertilizers.

    http://ecofuelafrica.com/

    · Ecofogão Ltda

    Ecofogão is a woodstove manufacturer, which introduced the innovative concept of ecological clean and efficient stoves to the Brazilian market in 2004. Ecofogão was mainly created to serve low income market that depends on woodstoves for daily cooking, but also has taken advantage of the middle class market that uses woodstoves for recreation purposes.  Ecofogão now wants to scale up toward the larger low income market of the northeastern Brazil.

    http://www.ecofogao.com.br/

    · Esoko

    Esoko is Africa’s leading communication platform for the agriculture sector, with a range of mobile based solutions, and serving a diverse array of partners in 10 countries.

    http://www.esoko.com/

    · IkamvaYouth 

    IkamvaYouth enables disadvantaged South African youth to pull themselves and each other out of poverty through education. The core program is the provision of after-school tutoring support to self-selected learners in grades 8 to 12 three times a week. This results in an actively engaged self-directed learner.  

    http://ikamvayouth.org/

    · iKure Techsoft Private Limited 

    iKure is establishing a chain of Rural Health Centers using innovative technology. Patients receive quality primary healthcare in their community, including doctor consultation, medicine, and basic check-ups. In case of any secondary or tertiary care, the patients are connected seamlessly to hub hospitals using proprietary software.

    http://www.ikuretechsoft.com/

    · JITA Social Business Bangladesh Limited 

    JITA Bangladesh is a joint venture of CARE International & Danone Communities dedicated to empowering women through a network of enterprises to create employment opportunities and improve access to markets for BOP consumers.

    http://jitabangladesh.com/

    · Komaza 

    Komaza is an agro-forestry company working to provide African dry land farmers with planting inputs, training and maintenance services, and processing-sales support. The goals are to cultivate a life-changing income for farmers, curb rampant deforestation, and earn investor returns.

    http://komaza.org/

    · Mali Biocarburant SA (MBSA) 

    Biofuel Mali SA (MBSA) is the first company producing biodiesel in West Africa. It is a private company that makes farmers shareholders in the company. By producing, processing and marketing biodiesel locally, Mali Biofuel SA contributes to the development of the local economy.

    http://www.malibiocarburant.com/malibio/

    · Medical Technology Transfer and Services (MTTS) 

    MTTS is a social enterprise that develops, manufactures, and distributes intensive newborn care medical devices, specifically designed for the needs of low-resource countries. They exist to ensure that all children, irrespectively of the place of birth, have the chance of a healthy upbringing.

    http://www.mtts-asia.com/

    · One Earth Group Ltd. (Brand Name: One Earth Designs) 

    One Earth Designs creates clean, sharable energy. They began by working alongside nomads in the Himalayas, where they developed 54 solar cooker designs to combat fuel scarcity and household air pollution. Now, their R&D portfolio includes collaborations with governments and corporations to develop renewable energy solutions with the potential to improve living standards. 

    http://www.oneearthdesigns.com/ 

    · Prospera 

    Prospera empowers female-led micro businesses and connects them to conscious citizens and consumers looking to create a more equal and engaged society. 

    http://www.prosperando.org

    · Sankara Eye Care Institutions 

    Sankara Eye Care Institutions through its network of hospitals across India is one of the largest communities of eye care providers in the country. Sankara’s mission is to eradicate preventable and curable blindness in India by providing free high quality eye care to the millions of rural poor through a strong service oriented team. 

    www.sankaraeye.com

    · SMEFunds 

    SMEFunds produces a proven, cleaner, and lower-cost alternative to dangerous cooking fuels in Africa that can also be sold as transport fuel at economies of scale.

    http://www.smefunds.com/

    · World Wide Hearing 

    World Wide Hearing Foundation International is a non-profit organization that provides access to affordable, high quality hearing aids to children and youth with hearing loss in developing countries. Their goal is to empower people with hearing loss so that they can realize their full potential.

    http://www.wwhearing.org/

    The GSBI program is unique for several reasons: 

    *The program has built up a strong group of nearly 70 Silicon Valley mentors who are CEOs, venture capitalists, marketing experts, experts in solar or other forms of alternative energy, and other seasoned executives who find it rewarding to work with social entrepreneurs free of charge, as a way of paying it forward.  Some of them have volunteered at the GSBI for 10 years or more. 

    *While many university-based social entrepreneurship programs seek to help their own students become social entrepreneurs, the GSBI Accelerator helps entrepreneurs who are on the ground around the world helping communities. 

    *Undergraduate students leverage the relationships with the social entrepreneurs through research fellowships in countries like Brazil, India, Nepal, Uganda, and Paraguay. 

    *The GSBI has spawned the GSBI Network, composed of mission-aligned universities and programs around the globe that work directly with on-the-ground social enterprises.

    *Earlier stage social enterprises learn the tenets of the GSBI methodology through an online-only version, GSBI Online. Through web modules and video conferencing, participants receive guidance from their Silicon Valley mentors, as well as mentors in their home regions. 

    A Billion Lives 

    It is the ambitious goal of Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society — home to GSBI— to positively impact the lives of a billion people by 2020, by catalyzing the growth of social enterprises who provide the poor with affordable life-saving or life-enhancing products; new jobs or livelihoods; or information and tools to help themselves. 

    “Our GSBI Accelerator, Online, and Network programs could enable social entrepreneurs to collectively improve the lives of up to one-fourth of the global poor,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director of the Center. “Our Global Social Benefit Fellows program is creating the next generation of ‘changemakers’: it provides SCU undergraduates transformative social justice learning experiences through practical action research projects with GSBI Alumni social entrepreneurs.” 

    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 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. 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.

    Media Contacts: 

    Deborah Lohse, SCU Media Relations, dlohse@scu.edu, 408-554-5121

    Jaime Gusching, CSTS Marketing Manager, jgusching@scu.edu, 408-551-6048

     
  •  Giving Tuesday!

    Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013

    Next week, people across our relatively blessed nation will have a Thanksgiving feast and then go on a shopping spree for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There is a growing nationwide movement to follow these days of indulgence with "Giving Tuesday." Now in its second year, Giving Tuesday is a national day devoted to remembering those less fortunate and supporting the charities that help them. Join us on December 3rd on our facebook or donate here.

     

  •  Call for Fall 2014 GSBI® Accelerator Program Applications

    Monday, Aug. 26, 2013

    CALL FOR FALL 2014 GSBI® ACCELERATOR PROGRAM APPLICATIONS
    Up to 20 Scholarships for Social Enterprises Available


    SANTA CLARA, Calif., August 26, 2013 — Applications for the Fall 2014 GSBI Accelerator Program open on September 2, 2013, and will be accepted through October 31, 2013.  Up to 20 ventures will be selected and enrolled in the lauded ten-month social enterprise capacity development program.  The 2014 GSBI Accelerator program runs from February 2, 2014 through November 30, 2014, and includes a ten-day in-residence “accelerator boot camp” at Santa Clara University, a leading Jesuit university in the heart of Silicon Valley, California.  Information on the application process can be found at: http://scu.edu/socialbenefit/entrepreneurship/gsbi/apply.cfm


    The GSBI Accelerator helps social entrepreneurs understand and fill gaps in their organizations that prevent them from achieving scale, and prepares them for appropriate capital to rapidly increase their impact. Investment readiness is a central theme of the Center’s Impact Capital program, which provides thought leadership and financial innovations to drive impact investing into underserved sectors.


    The GSBI Accelerator combines best practices of online learning with a proven curriculum (over 11 years of experience), complemented by experienced in-country and Silicon Valley mentors, to provide social entrepreneurs the tools to help them scale their enterprises and prepare them for financial investment.  “The GSBI Accelerator brings together mentors, experts, impact investors, and social entrepreneurs to collectively identify and overcome gaps in their operating businesses,” said Cassandra Staff, GSBI Program Director.

    At the end of the in-residence or “boot camp” portion, entrepreneurs present to a select audience of impact investors, philanthropists, corporations, and government agencies.  With GSBI’s successful track record, Accelerator program draws the best practitioners in the social impact world. The 2013 GSBI Accelerator Cohort recently presented to almost 200 premiere investment professionals, corporate and foundation executives, and Silicon Valley leaders with entrepreneurs returning home having tapped into Silicon Valley acumen and potential funding.

    For more details about the GSBI Accelerator program, visit http://www.scu.edu/socialbenefit/entrepreneurship/gsbi/ For questions regarding the program, please send an email to gsbi@scu.edu.

    About the Center for Science, Technology, and Society
    The mission of the Center is to accelerate global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. Its flagship GSBI® programs include the GSBI Accelerator, GSBI Online, and GSBI Network, which have served over 200 social enterprises over the past 11 years. The Impact Capital program improves the capital match between social entrepreneurs and impact investors. The Global Social Benefit Fellows Program provides practice-based action learning opportunities for undergraduates with GSBI Alumni.


    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 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.Ds. 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.

    Media Contacts:
    Beverly Nuako | Marketing Manager | 408-551-6048 | bnuako@scu.edu
    Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | 408-554-5121 | dlohse@scu.edu




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