Social Enterprise-Investor Matchmaking In Silicon Valley

3CF board members Erica Jordan and Sara Cannon attended this years’ Global Social Benefit Institute GSBI Investor Showcase, a presentation of 14 social entrepreneurs who had recently completed the 10-month GSBI accelerator program. Through this program, entrepreneurs from all over the world are paired with volunteer mentors. The culmination of their work together is the Investor Showcase, where funders listen to each pitch, network with entrepreneurs over lunch, and in some cases sit down with them to begin more serious discussions about their business and investment requirements. In this way GSBI, provides a launching pad for companies that demonstrate great potential for success.

Worldwide, there are many early and middle stage businesses today that have found a way to do well (become profitable) by doing good (provide a social benefit). However, the challenges they face are ubiquitous because they are pioneering new territory in their fields. Fortunately, resources such as the Global Social Benefit Institute at Santa Clara University's Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship exist to help entrepreneurs and investors overcome challenges by convening them in a common network and matchmaking forum. Social entrepreneurs explore the training, mentorship, and access to financial capital provided by organizations such as these, in order to scale their businesses and gain access to otherwise elusive financial capital. Since 2003, 572 social entrepreneurs have participated in a mentored GSBI program, and collectively they have raised $308M to date.

Michael Porter says “when business solves a problem, it makes a profit – which lets that solution grow.” 3rd Creek Foundation is dedicated to supporting scalable, high impact programs with a mission to alleviate poverty. We are privileged to be a part of this network that connects funders to innovative social enterprises from all over the world.