In May of this year, Miller Center launched it’s first 100% women-led cohort to help advance women leaders and women’s economic growth. Of the 227 applicants, 17 women entrepreneurs were selected to participate in our 6-month GSBI® Online program. Today I am also very excited to announce that another 15 were selected to participate in our 4-month GSBI JumpStart program, which officially launched on June 30.
Originally piloted in 2017, the JumpStart program was initiated as a way to support early-stage but high potential social entrepreneurs, in particular, women-led and locally-led organizations. The format of JumpStart differs from other GSBI accelerator programs in that it is delivered in a shorter period of time and with a less structured format. The goal is to help give these enterprises a “jumpstart” to be prepared to apply for future stage-specific accelerators like GSBI online as well as to develop strategies to grow their enterprises in a financially sustainable manner.
Since JumpStart is geared toward supporting early-stage enterprises, the organizations in this cohort on average have been in operation 1-4 years and are a mix of for-profit, non-profit, and hybrid businesses. They are creating impact across 7 countries — Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, India, and the US, and working across 7 impact sectors — Education, Energy, Agriculture, Health, Artisanal, Environment, and Housing/Community Development.
Discover the 15 social enterprises selected for our 2020 GSBI JumpStart Women-Led Cohort:
More than three-quarters of Ugandans depend on agriculture for their livelihood, but only 31% of the arable land in Uganda is in use. Smallholder farmers make up over 80% of the farming community in Uganda, but it’s nearly impossible for them to get loans: only 1% of commercial lending in Uganda goes to farmers. In addition to lacking credit, these farmers face a number of issues that threaten their survival.
In Pakistan, 80% of the population lives in rural areas and does not have access to health care. In India, pregnancy is commonly life-threatening instead of life-giving. In Mexico, low-income children are at risk of delayed development due to poor childcare services.
“When I heard, “And the winner is Wendo Dorcas” that evening I took the trophy to my room, sat on my hotel bed and cried until my ribs hurt. I cried for the woman who did not have confidence in herself, who considered herself inferior, who was fearlessly afraid, who was so proud of herself for doing something she had never done before. She had pitched and won. Yes! The villager as I commonly, proudly, refer to [as] myself, had won $10,000 plus a trophy.”
ANNOUNCING 17 GSBI ONLINE SOCIAL ENTERPRISES FOR 2017
Graffiti artists, egg farmers, and soccer players couldn’t possibly have anything in common – could they? When it comes to fighting poverty they can! Social enterprises from all over the world, working with people from all different kinds of backgrounds, overlap in that all of their missions focus on doing good through business.