March 31, 2016
GE and Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship announced a partnership today to work on a training and mentoring program for 15 to 20 selected organizations that will address maternal and child health issues in sub-Saharan Africa.
Every day, about 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth and 99 percent of the cases occur in developing countries, according to the World Health Organization. Social entrepreneurship draws on business techniques and private sector approaches to uncover solutions to social, cultural and environmental problems.
One of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals is to focus on reducing the global maternal mortality ratio and ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under the age of five. The partnership between GE and the Miller Center’s healthymagination Mother & Child program aims to support that goal.
The program will leverage Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute methodology, which has helped to accelerate over 560 social enterprises around the world. It will involve a three-day, in-person workshop in Nairobi, Kenya and a six-month online program accompanied by weekly, in-depth mentoring from Silicon Valley-based executives.
The organizations will also be introduced to GE’s products and trained on the technologies and resources for the maternal and child health sector. One way GE is looking at this collaboration is as an opportunity to increase access to and familiarity with GE solutions in Africa.
In order to be considered for the program, the qualified leaders of for-profit, nonprofit or hybrid enterprises have to apply by May 18, 2016. The selected organizations will be announced after a formal review and interview process by a panel of judges from GE and Miller Center.
The panel will assess the organizations based on whether they have operating ventures beyond the ideation stage, a validated business model with a product or service in the marketplace and a sustainable financial model that can be scaled over time.
An investor showcase event will be held in Nairobi in February 2017 and the 15 to 20 program finalists will pitch their enterprises and health care innovations to a large group of active investors in early-stage social enterprises.