As summer draws to a close and Santa Clara University begins to buzz with the energy and excitement of students returning to campus, Miller Center is also gearing up for our flagship fall season. This October, we will welcome the 2023 In-Residence cohort to SCU and participate in the SOCAP conference in San Francisco.
Sponsored by our partner, ServiceNow, the 12 social enterprises invited to participate in this year’s Fall In-Residence represent some of the most inspiring leaders directly addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During Oct 19 – 22, these entrepreneurs will participate in an in-depth mock investor meeting, take part in presentation skills training and leadership management workshops, and engage in roundtable discussions with SCU faculty and students — all with the goal of preparing them to more effectively tell their stories so that they can access the right kinds of capital for their stage of development. Following the In-Residence, the cohort will also be sponsored by Miller Center to attend the SOCAP conference in San Francisco, where they will have more opportunities to showcase their work as part of the exclusive SOCAP Entrepreneur Program, network, and engage directly with the impact investing community.
This In-Residence cohort is jointly raising more than $100 million with compelling investment stories that range from offering impact opportunities that will deliver market rate returns while addressing traditionally underserved markets to providing novel services with the potential to disrupt the industries they operate in. What all 12 enterprises have in common is that they are delivering positive impact through scalable business models. Miller Center Capital provides flexibly-structured, early-stage debt to companies like these, and has already invested in Sistema.bio to help them bridge the “valley of death” and activate additional capital.
As our Center continues to double down on efforts to support social entrepreneurs with the highest potential, this cohort is composed entirely of Miller Center entrepreneur alumni, working within our core focus areas of women’s economic power and climate resilience. For example, ONOW seeks to reduce poverty across Southeast Asia by providing business training, financial education, leadership coaching, and digital support tools to young entrepreneurs, particularly migrant women. Additionally, ONOW’s CEO Matt Wallace currently sits on Miller Center’s Social Enterprise Alumni Advisory Council.
Among the participating alumni are two enterprises from the Miller Center and Chevron portfolio. Our work with Chevron focuses on social enterprises with impact in Asia that directly address our core focus areas. Sistema.bio, one of Miller Center’s oldest enterprise alumni, manufactures and distributes high-quality, affordable bio-digesters that enable farmers to convert waste into renewable energy and organic biofertilizer. Since its founding in Mexico in 2010, Sistema.bio has scaled considerably and now also operates across East Africa and India. GajiGesa in Indonesia, which came to us through our partnership with Women’s World Banking, quickly became one of Miller Center’s and Chevron’s newest success stories. With 67% of Indonesian workers unable to provide reserve funds for a week, the enterprise offers a financial wellness platform providing employees access to capital and financial resiliency. To date, GajiGesa has supported over 19,272 financially resilient employees with over 14,000 employees reporting an increase in savings.
ONOW, GajiGesa, and Sistema.bio are just three examples of this year’s impressive In-Residence cohort. All of the participating enterprises have created models of success and are actively accelerating hope for a world without poverty. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them in person this month to Santa Clara.
Read more about each enterprise below.