Miller Center Launches Pathways Out Of Poverty As America’s Income Divide Widens

Media Mention, Press Release

SANTA CLARA, Calif., January 16, 2020 –Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship has launched a special US-focused accelerator designed to help organizations serving some of the most marginalized populations in the country develop more sustainable and scalable solutions.

Eighteen organizations were selected for Miller Center’s Pathways Out of Poverty (POP) Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) Online accelerator, a six-month program providing practical tools, proven curriculum, and executive mentorship to help entrepreneurs scale their enterprises.

“Social entrepreneurship can be a lasting tool to solve problems of poverty, particularly in America where income disparity is increasing between the haves and have-nots,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “The inspiring enterprises selected to participate in the program are working to improve economic livelihoods and create a path toward self-sufficiency for underserved and vulnerable communities across the country.”

The POP program builds on Miller Center’s experience in accelerating more than 1000 social enterprises in 100 countries, that have collectively improved, transformed or saved the lives of over 400 million people.  The program is being offered in collaboration with Catholic Charities USA.

POP participants include Catholic Charities organizations and other enterprises that provide social services such as workforce readiness, training and jobs; housing; meals; interpretation services; and additional services to low-income and the homeless, including youth, women, the elderly, disabled people and individuals previously incarcerated. Of the 18 organizations, 12 are non-profit, four are for-profit and two are a hybrid.  Seven of the enterprises are run by women.

The full list of the organizations selected for the program can be found here and includes:

    • 90Works supports poor and vulnerable populations, helping them to become self-sufficient

    • Catholic Charities Dioceses of San Diego provides nutrition (meals & home delivery) for senior citizens and produces and delivers school lunches

    • Catholic Charities New Hampshire offers affordable senior living housing and support services for communities in three different areas of the state

    • Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada – St. Vincent’s Dining Room serves hot, nutritious meals to low and very low-income clients; also provides training and apprenticeships to homeless and low-income clients

    • Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri provides construction job training to those facing barriers to employment, as well as home repairs, and housing to low-income households

    • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Antonio – Interpreter & Translation Services offers face-to-face and over-the-phone, real-time, interpretation services as well as document translation services in more than 50 languages

    • Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona – Community Outreach Program for the Deaf provides interpreting services to deaf and deaf/blind persons with a pool of over 200 highly qualified, licensed and certified interpreters

    • Creative Reaction Lab educates, trains, and challenges Black and Latinx youth to become leaders designing healthy and racially equitable communities

    • Dafero produces healthy spreads and snacks for consumers, while providing workforce readiness training to help vulnerable women achieve self-reliance

    • Detroit Training Center administers employer demand-driven workforce development training programs focused on construction, transportation and manufacturing, helping to create employment onramps for students

    • Elpis Enterprises provides job training, work experience, and job placement for homeless or precariously-housed young people

    • MedHaul eliminates transit barriers for patients in under-served and rural communities

    • Pathlight HOME provides affordable housing and support services for the homeless and culinary training to low-income people who are unemployed or underemployed

    • RecoveryPark rebuilds on vacant land, creates jobs for people with barriers to employment and helps revitalize Detroit neighborhoods

    • Rising International provides entrepreneurial coaching and training to impoverished women in the U.S. including those who are homeless, and survivors of human trafficking or domestic violence

    • Social Impact Philanthropy and Investment transforms legacy cities into economic hubs of opportunity for everyone, through capacity-building, workforce development and training, and consultancy services

    • StreetWell provides housing, case management, and jobs for marginalized individuals

    • Thrive for Life Prison Project offers spiritual exercises to incarcerated persons and transitional supportive housing (Ignacio House) upon re-entry into society

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About Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, located at Santa Clara University, has accelerated more than 1000 social enterprises since 2003. These collectively have improved, transformed, or saved the lives of over 400 million people in 100 countries. We help transform social ministries to more sustainable social enterprise models. We engage Santa Clara University students in research that helps social enterprises, leveraging our location in the heart of Silicon Valley and our Jesuit ambition to end poverty and protect the planet.

About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see

About Catholic Charities USA

A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. CCUSA’s members provide help and create hope to more than nine million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at

Media Contacts

Rhonda Brauer for Miller Center,, (310) 508-0426

Deborah Lohse, SCU Media Communications,, (408) 554-5121

Patricia Cole, Catholic Charities USA, (703) 236-6218