|[August 04, 2014]
Entrepreneurs Battling Global Poverty Come to Silicon Valley Aug. 14 to 22
SANTA CLARA, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
Venture capitalist and Netflix board member Tim Haley has spent his
career working with entrepreneurs with businesses like mobile apps,
smart-TV technology, or online-education technologies, in the
fast-moving world of Silicon Valley.
But this summer, he's mentoring a very different sort of entrepreneur:
the leader of a company that uses Avon-style tactics to sell soap,
cosmetics, and sanitary products to Bangladeshi women who often are
homebound because their patriarchal society won't let them go shopping
without male escorts.
Haley is one of about 50
mentors who every year volunteer their time for Santa Clara
University's GSBI® Accelerator, a 10-month training and mentoring
program for seasoned social entrepreneurs who are seeking help to
overcome obstacles and reach exponentially greater numbers of customers
The company Haley is mentoring, JITA Bangladesh, is one of 14
"social enterprises" -- commercial organizations that aim to benefit
humanity, not just maximize profits -- taking part in the 12th
annual GSBI program. Each of the ventures -- including an Indian
provider of eye care, an African company that converts farm waste into
clean cooking fuel, and a Chinese provider of renewable solar energy --
was created to help solve worldwide problems of poverty, such as toxic
cooking fuel, lack of electricity, the dearth of health-care services,
or livelihood opportunities.
On-campus classes and investor showcase
The GSBI Accelerator Class of 2014 will be on Santa Clara University's
campus Aug. 14 to 22 for the in-residence portion of the program. After
eight days of meetings with their mentors and intensive classes on
subjects such as business strategy and impact metrics, the social
entrepreneurs will present their business plans at an investor showcase.
The showcase is annually attended by 200 or so Valley investors,
industry experts, and individual philanthropists interested in "impact
This year's showcase will take place at Santa Clara University's Recital
Hall on Thursday, Aug. 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will also be
live-streamed at www.scu.edu/investorshowcase.
Investors interested in attending the showcase should visit
scu.edu/investorshowcase or email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (408) 551 - 3053. The event is not open to the general public
but some invitation-only seats are available by emailing email@example.com
Reporters interested in interviewing any of the entrepreneurs or
mentors while they are in town, or attending the investor showcase, may
contact Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Global Social Benefit Institute
The Global Social Benefit Institute is unique for several reasons:
The high caliber and ongoing support of Silicon Valley mentors who
come back year after year to train GSBI Accelerator companies. The
mentors are current or former CEOs, venture capitalists, marketing
experts, experts in solar or other forms of alternative energy, and
other seasoned veterans.
A fellowship program enables undergraduate students to provide market
and other research to the social entrepreneurs, taking the students to
countries like Brazil, India, Nepal, Uganda, and Paraguay, and
generating vital market intelligence for the social entrepreneurs.
The Institute provides mentoring and support to earlier-stage social
enterprises in countries all over the world, via an online-only
program, GSBI Online. Through web modules and video conferencing,
participants receive guidance from their Silicon Valley mentors, as
well as mentors in their home regions.
The GSBI has spawned the GSBI Network, composed of mission-aligned
programs and universities-many of them Jesuit like Santa Clara --
around the globe that collaborate in their work supporting social
entrepreneurs and their businesses.
"Collectively, we strive to provide support, mentoring, and networking
opportunities to social entrepreneurs who are in a position to improve
the lives of up to one-fourth of the global poor," said Thane Kreiner,
Ph.D., executive director of the Center. "Ultimately, we'd like to
positively impact a billion lives by the year 2020."
Sponsors of the GSBI Accelerator program include: eBay
Inc. Foundation, Applied Materials (News - Alert), Skoll
Foundation, the Global
Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and the GSBI Endowment Fund supported
by Jeff and Karen Miller and Howard and Alida Charney.
About the Center for Science, Technology, and Society
The goal of Santa Clara University's Center
for Science, Technology, and Society - home to GSBI - is to help
social entrepreneurs help the poor by providing affordable life-saving
or life-enhancing products; new jobs or livelihoods; or information and
tools to help themselves.
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.
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