Though our vision is ambitious, in the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the Center team made terrific progress executing an integrated strategy that animates the University’s 2020 Integrated Strategic Plan.
We successfully tailored our GSBI® capacity development programs to the stage of social enterprise maturity. After a radical revision of curriculum and structure, we find that the GSBI Accelerator’s emphasis on investment readiness resonates with impact investors. GSBI Online, with the fourth cohort underway, helps more early-stage social entrepreneurs refine their business plans. In May, the fifth meeting of the GSBI Network, hosted at Santa Clara, focused on two initiatives: best practices for social enterprise incubators and accelerators; and student action research with social enterprises.
Our Impact Capital program has garnered significant brand awareness for Santa Clara and GSBI. In June, Program Director John Kohler was an invited speaker at an exclusive Vatican conference on impact investing. The demand dividend continues to gain momentum as an innovative alternative to equity, one that recognizes the constraints of frontier markets as well as the needs of social entrepreneurs and their investors.
The third cohort of Global Social Benefit Fellows departed in June for field placements in Uganda, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, and India, where they are working on issues including women’s health, safe drinking water, livelihoods, clean energy, and supply chain transparency to foster fair employment practices. We are proud of the Fellows and other students engaged with the Center’s work: they are the planet’s future change leaders.
The integrative nature of our three core programs – GSBI, Impact Capital, and Education & Action Research – differentiates our approach to driving social benefit. Indeed, the Center connects Silicon Valley start-up DNA with the Jesuit ethos of serving the poor. We are grateful to you and all those who support us in our endeavors to accelerate global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity.