GSBI Methodology White Paper Published

Photo Credit: Victoria Yundt at Solar Sister

Photo Credit: Victoria Yundt at Solar Sister

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 23, 2015 –  Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship has released a white paper aimed at helping social-entrepreneurship accelerators and incubators succeed. The paper,  “The GSBI(R) Methodology for Social Entrepreneurship,” is available to download here.  

The white paper encapsulates lessons from 12 years of working with over 365 businesses tackling social problems around the world through the Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute, or GSBI. The GSBI is internationally recognized for helping social entrepreneurs become investment-ready and prepared to “scale” -- or reach exponentially more beneficiaries. GSBI’s well-honed methodology serves as a best-practices framework for incubating and accelerating these global social enterprises.

The Miller Center is offering this free white paper in response to the rapid rise of accelerators and incubators focused on helping social entrepreneurs scale their solutions to the world’s critical problems affecting the poor and the planet. It identifies key strategies so others can benefit from its successes and failures.

The paper describes three key success factors for a successful accelerator: social enterprise selection, stage-specific programs for social enterprises, and deep executive-level mentoring.  It also shares mistakes to avoid, such as being unprepared for the due diligence process that potential funders require.

“Founded in 2003, the GSBI has led and changed the way accelerators help social entrepreneurs," said Sally Osberg, CEO and President of the Skoll Foundation. “The social entrepreneurship movement is booming and there’s no need for newcomers to reinvent the wheel. This paper helps everyone in our ecosystem accomplish our shared goal of using innovation and sound business practices to solve problems that are keeping three billion people from living their full potential.”

The GSBI invites applications from businesses or organizations that are “impact first,” where the intention is to create good environmental or social outcomes as a forethought, not an afterthought. Based on where the enterprises are in their lifecycles, they are matched to the appropriate programs within the GSBI:  a “Boost” program consisting of three days of intensive, on-location training; a six-month online-only program for early-stage, developing ventures; or the 10-month GSBI Accelerator, which combines online and in-person mentoring for ventures on the cusp of robust growth. 

“We have applied this stage-appropriate methodology in over 60 countries,” said Pamela Roussos, senior director of GSBI. “What sets us apart is our 80-plus Silicon Valley executive mentors who accompany the social entrepreneurs on their journey through weekly meetings for entire duration of their program.  More than 85 percent of our last cohort received funding. Our methodology contributes to this success record and we would like others to benefit from it.”

About the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Founded in 1997, the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is one of three Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University. The Miller Center accelerates global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. Its strategic focus is on poverty eradication through its three areas of work: The Global Social Benefit Institute, Impact Capital, and Education and Action Research. To learn more about the Center or any of its social entrepreneurship programs, please visit

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 degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. 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

Media Contacts
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5121
Jaime Gusching | Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship | | 408-551-6048