SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 15, 2018— Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University has selected 21 organizations to participate in its pioneering Social Entrepreneurship at the Margins (SEM) accelerator program, focused on social enterprises serving migrants, refugees, and human trafficking survivors around the world.

Leveraging 15 years of experience accelerating over 890 social enterprises in 65 countries, Miller Center will accompany the SEM cohort through its world-class Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) Online accelerator program and host an SEM Showcase on October 23 in the San Francisco Bay Area, preceding the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference.

“Climate change and conflict are driving more families from their homes; poverty continues to place young women and men at risk of modern-day slavery,” remarked Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director of Miller Center.  “We are inspired by the geographical diversity of over 100 applicants and the imaginative solutions they have developed to restore dignity to the most marginalized among our common human family.”

Globally, there are 22.5 million refugees, 65.6 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, and a record 244 million migrants, according to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees. Estimates of the number of modern-day slaves range from 21 million to 46 million.

The SEM accelerator program will be the fourteenth GSBI Online accelerator cohort since its 2011 pilot with the World Bank. The finalists have impact in 24 countries globally, with the largest numbers of enterprises working on the ground regionally in southeast Asia, East Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

734coffee employs refugees in small-scale coffee farming, connects their product to the global marketplace, and is led by Manyang Kher, a former refugee.

1951 Coffee Company provides job training and employment to refugees while educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues.

African Entrepreneur Collective offers business development support and direct investments to refugee entrepreneurs living in Rwanda.

Courageous Kitchen Inc provides Thai cooking classes for tourists visiting Bangkok; it uses the profits to provide food aid and educational services to vulnerable urban refugees.

Destiny Reflection leads a number of charitable projects, including the for-profit Reflection business that employs human trafficking survivors to make fashion accessories that Reflection sells to ethical businesses.

Dreamlopments Ltd Dreamlopments offers private, low-cost, and not-for-profit health insurance through its M-FUND to unregistered migrants in Thailand, enabling them to access affordable, comprehensive, quality health-care services.

Five One Labs provides intensive training, mentorship, community, and seed funding to help internally displaced refugees in Iraq launch and grow businesses.

Leaf Global Fintech offers financial services to the stateless and excluded through Blockchain technology and digital currency to facilitate secure asset storage and transport.

Makers Unite runs talent development and matchmaking programs for refugees in The Netherlands, engaging them and local community members in the collaborative production of sustainable products.

MORE THAN ONE PERSPECTIVE (MTOP) runs an associate program, an advanced 3-6 month training program, prepares highly qualified refugees with backgrounds in IT, engineering, and business for entry into the Austrian labor market.

Needslist manages an online marketplace that allows donors to view and meet real-time needs for displaced people globally.

Potential Energy manufactures and distributes the Berkeley Darfur Stove, an energy-efficient stove for rural, refugee families.

Re:Coded runs a signature coding bootcamp for conflict-affected youth, the first of its kind in Iraq and Turkey, providing them transferable skills.

Refugee Company offers job skills trainings and placement in fields including hospitality, textile manufacturing, marketing, and solar panel technology for refugees who have been resettled in The Netherlands.

Refugees{code} is building a coding school for refugees to integrate them into the job market in Austria.

Regenesys BPO provides digital outsourcing services to US-based companies by training human trafficking survivors. Based in Philippines, Regenesys is expanding to Cambodia.

Relevee trains trafficking survivors in India to be fine jewelry makers and sells the products online and in high-end stores.

Scheherazade Initiatives offers participatory theater workshops that develop knowledge and awareness around issues affecting migrants and refugees and help refugees and migrants build life skills to build new homes in their host communities.

Talent Beyond Boundaries matches skilled refugees to global employment opportunities, creating a durable, private sector driven solution that enables refugees to use labor visas and pursue productive lives based on their skills.

WorkAround is an impact sourcing provider of translation, transcription, data entry and scrubbing, image and keyword tagging, research, and human input for machine learning that helps companies get more done for less while providing jobs to talented refugees.

Zero Trafficking LLC sells enterprise SaaS solutions that utilize artificial intelligence to eradicate human trafficking.

Each social enterprise will be accompanied by two Silicon Valley executive mentors through a structured curriculum that helps it discern how to scale its impact. The SEM Showcase will afford the social enterprise and impact investing communities opportunities to learn about innovative business models and technology innovations from the cohort participants. 

Foundations and family offices with interest in refugees, migrants, or human trafficking survivors are invited to join Miller Center on its journey to transform dysfunctional systems through entrepreneurship. The Chao Foundation and Vodafone Foundation have already stepped forward to support the SEM program.

“Women and girls are disproportionately affected by human trafficking, the global refugee crisis, and migration. The Vodafone Americas Foundation is working to create greater economic opportunity and to close the gender gap for women and girls,” said June Sugiyama, Vodafone Americas Foundation Director.  “The organizations in this cohort are doing instrumental work to enable women and girls to thrive.”

“The Chao Foundation/Transparent Fish Fund is committed to serving children in disadvantaged regions and to promoting a spirit of philanthropy,” said Doug Tsui, Board member and Adviser to The Chao Foundation/Transparent Fish Fund. “Partnering with Miller Center in its pioneering work to accelerate these unique social enterprises helps us advance both elements of our mission.” 

About Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is the largest and most successful social enterprise accelerator in the world. Founded in 1997, Miller Center is one of three Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University and is located in the heart of the world’s most entrepreneurial ecosystem. We leverage the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ethos of Silicon Valley and underpin it with the Jesuit heritage of service to the poor and protection of the planet. To learn more about the Center or any of its social entrepreneurship programs, visit www.scu.edu/MillerCenter.

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 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry and theology; and law and engineering doctoral degrees. 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
Rhonda Brauer | RBrauer Consulting for Miller Center | Rhonda@RBrauerconsult.com | (213) 300-2717

Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | dlohse@scu.edu | (408) 554-5121


Banner photo courtesy of Re-Coded.