“As a long-time GSBI mentor, I have worked with hundreds of social enterprises over the last decade. This is unequivocally the most accomplished cohort I have ever seen,” said Paul Meissner, Ph.D., senior director of the GSBI. “Their momentum reflects how quickly social entrepreneurship is expanding, and how many millions of lives can be impacted by their work.”

Leaders from 15 enterprises have been selected to take part in the eight-month GSBI Accelerator program, beginning in April and ending in December 2013. Participants will receive mentoring from top-level Silicon Valley executive experts, highly specialized instruction, and intense on-campus education. For the first time this year, the social enterprises are being directly monitored by an elite group of interested funders, the GSBI Impact Investing Partners. While not necessarily committing to funding the ventures, the partners will help participants evaluate their organizations from a funding perspective.

The in-residence portion of the program will take place August 15–23 at Santa Clara University, culminating in a networking event with the impact investors. The GSBI Impact Investing Partners include: Accion, Acumen Fund, Bamboo Finance, Beyond Capital Fund, The Eleos Foundation, Emcor Securities, Grassroots Business Fund, Halloran Philanthropies, Hub Ventures, Invested Development, Khosla Impact Fund, KL Felicitas, Skoll Foundation, Toniic, and Village Capital.

This year’s GSBI class members are building businesses including “biodigester systems” that help small farmers treat animal waste and convert it into powerful organic fertilizer and methane-rich biogas for cooking and heating; “100-percent biomass waste gasification” to generate electricity and distribute power to rural households; water pumps that run on solar power; two-way, on-demand mobile platforms that teach reading and writing skills to poor families; low-cost, pre-paid electricity meters that enable the extension of renewable energy to global communities living off-the-grid, and many .

In addition to launching this year’s GSBI Accelerator, the CSTS joined with longtime GSBI sponsor Applied Materials last year to make a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to support 18 clean energy social enterprises over the next three years. Including this year’s GSBI Accelerator class and the related online program, GSBI Online, the partners have already reached 15 clean energy enterprises.

“We want to thank Applied Materials for its ongoing support of the Center and GSBI,” said Meissner. “We are also delighted that eBay Foundation is sponsoring four enterprises in this year’s cohort: , , , and .”

For more details about the program and the 2013 GSBI class, visit the Center for Science, Technology, and Society’s website at .

About the GSBI

The GSBI is the signature program of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University. The mission of the Center is to accelerate global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. The GSBI empowers socially-minded entrepreneurs to build sustainable, scalable organizations and solve problems for people living in poverty around the world. For over a decade, the GSBI has helped mission-driven enterprises build, sustain, and increase the reach and impact of their businesses. The GSBI is currently funded in part by a grant from the Skoll Foundation, corporate gifts from Applied Materials, and generous support from individual donors.

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 .

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Kelsey Anne Smith, Contributing Writer
April 4, 2013
Filed under News

For the first time, the Social Entrepreneurship Fund (SEF) will be offered for a creative project that will have a significant impact on the community. Whether the project is set to take place in downtown Dayton or in a third world country, the SEF will provide up to two years of funding.

The SEF is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing and full-time employees of Wright State.

“Wright State University’s Social Entrepreneurship Fund is part of our capacity building efforts,” said Dr. Kimberly Barrett, the Vice President for Multicultural Affairs and Community Engagement. “It will provide both financial support and expert advice to faculty, staff and students who have innovative ideas regarding ways to partner with and empower our community to solve pressing social problems.”

All applications will be evaluated by a selection committee which consists of representatives from various organizations and academic departments across campus.

Grant money of up to $30,000 will be awarded. This grant can be used for a course release, student stipends and salaries, supplies, travel, and training. Additionally, those who receive funding will be able to receive mentorship in areas such as research, program evaluation, community planning/organizing, nonprofit management, technology transfer, and finance.

The SEF is looking for applicants who are dedicated to their cause, as projects will be chosen based on the likelihood of long-term success.

“As always with projects like this, we continue to look for additional financial partners to help sustain and expand the important work the Fund supports,” stated Barrett. “But we are off to a terrific start!”

Those who are interested in applying can visit http://www.wright.edu/sites/default/files/page/attachements/SEF. Applications are due by Friday, April 12, 2013 and should be sent to Patricia Jones at [email protected]

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