By Karen Runde, GSBI Program Manager
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. Agropreneur Initiative is “plugging the gaps” in the agricultural value chain by providing financing, high-quality inputs, training and guidance, financial literacy training, and marketing support. Agropreneur Initiative also helps farmers sell their produce for prices that are three times higher than before.
Over two billion people drink fecally-contaminated water in places like Lagos, Bangkok and Mexico City. Folia Water has developed a new kind of water filter that is made with silver nanoparticle paper that kills viruses and bacteria. The Folia Filter is ten times cheaper than bottled water, so the two billion people who make $2-$10 per day can afford them.
These are only two of eleven social enterprises that just graduated from the eleventh cohort of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) Online program. Each of the social enterprises described above represent one of Miller Center’s two strategic initiatives: Climate Resilience and Women Rising. You can see the Investor Profiles for all eleven social enterprises from the most recent GSBI Online cohort here.
Meet the Eleven
Below are the eleven presentations from the GSBI Online Cohort 11, which showcase each social entrepreneur’s passion and innovative work towards alleviating global poverty. These presentations highlight their mission, value proposition, and the business models that were elaborated upon throughout the six months of the program.
At Miller Center, we combine the Silicon Valley principles of innovation and entrepreneurship to connect the Santa Clara University campus with the rest of the world. Our goal is to help social entrepreneurs expand their reach by aiding them in becoming investment-ready for financial capital. The Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI) has accelerated over 730 social entrepreneurs, who have raised over $525M, and positively impacted the lives of over 257M people. GSBI is a unique program because it helps social entrepreneurs focus, clarify, and scale their business through guided mentorship. Each social enterprise is paired with Silicon Valley executives who work one-on-one with them every week for the duration of the program.
GSBI Online is a program that specifically focuses on organizations that have some initial traction, proof of social impact, and are creating a business model to enable rapid growth. The virtual course is paired with GSBI mentorship to help organizations develop their impact and business models, growth plan, financial model, funding plan and marketing materials. Many organizations get value throughout the program by simply completing the learning modules. At the end of the six-month program, social entrepreneurs will be prepared to pitch to investors, and will be equipped with an investor profile, pitch deck, and many valuable connections.
Applications for our upcoming GSBI cohorts are open and all interested social enterprises are encouraged to apply!
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