Entrepreneurship is a lonely business; social entrepreneurship, even more so. A social entrepreneur challenges the status quo. The huge, intractable problems of poverty often seem insurmountable.
What we forget is that organizations that serve social entrepreneurs can feel overwhelmed as well. Developing impactful programs to support social entrepreneurs, building out the sector, and connecting actors can be difficult, if not impossible, in silos.
The Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) is tackling this problem by sharing our methodology, connections, and learning over the past 13 years.
On May 12-14, 2015, the GSBI partnered with the eBay Foundation to launch GSBI Xchange, a workshop of best practices that support early-stage social entrepreneurs and evaluate social impact.
"We connected, shared and received feedback on our programs, discussed successes and challenges, and drew inspiration from each other." says Neal Harrison, a GSBI program manager.
The participants of GSBI Xchange were 7 organizations from the GSBI Network, a global partnership of 26 Jesuit universities and other mission-aligned organizations working to support social entrepreneurship worldwide.
GSBI Network members such as Social Good Brazil and POSiBLE are great examples of organizations supporting the growth of social entrepreneurs.
- Social Good Brazil increased applicants for their Social Lab from a few dozen to over 200 applicants across Brazil.
- POSiBLE received over 40,000 applicants from across Mexico, doubling the interest from the prior year.
The social entrepreneurial movement is gaining impressive traction around the world. Several platforms such as Enable Impact and Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) have estimated the number of impact accelerators to be in the hundreds, and new social entrepreneurial ideas and prototypes in need of support are appearing daily.
The GSBI Xchange is designed to fuel this movement.
The GSBI and eBay Foundation are granting GSBI Xchange participants funding and support to host their own three-day workshop, with adapted content from the GSBI Boost program, to help local, early-stage social entrepreneurs with their strategies for growth. We are excited to co-facilitate these workshops in each of these locations, including Israel, Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, and beyond.
The GSBI Xchange serves as a reminder of the various ways we can support each other in the sector. By working together and sharing our experiences, resources, and expertise, we can improve our programs, help support social entrepreneurs, and positively impact the lives of millions.
GSBI Xchange Participating Orgs:
- Alterna Impact, Guatemala
- Child and Youth Finance International (Ye! Community), Netherlands (partners in Ghana, Kenya, Philippines)
- Momentum Project: Esade Business Schooll, Spain (Partners in El Salvador
- Marquette University Social Innovation Initiative, USA
- Minga - Social Enterprise Arena, Israel
- POSiBLE, Mexico
- Social Good Brazil, Brazil
® GSBI is a registered trademark of Santa Clara University and GSBI Xchange is a trademark of Santa Clara University.