74 Million Served, and Counting: 10th Annual Class of Global Social Entrepreneurs Coming to Silicon Valley

Thursday, August 2, 2012

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug 02, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Anuj Sharma’s startup company, Sarvajal, has found a way to bring clean water to thousands of households in rural India, who would otherwise have to walk miles or drink disease-causing dirty water. Sarvajal dispenses water from solar-powered, ATM-like machines. Customers pay around $3 a month with their cell phones, and special mobile technology alerts the company if there are problems with any of its 157 franchised machines.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez’s company, salaUno, has performed about 133 cataract surgeries a month for the past year in Mexico, enabling impoverished citizens to vastly improve their quality of life, job prospects, and ability to care for themselves. The surgery is free for those who can’t afford it, and about two-thirds cheaper than other options for those who can.

The two leaders are part of the 10th annual class of social entrepreneurs from all over the world coming Aug. 12-24 for Santa Clara University’s Global Social Benefit Incubator, or GSBI(TM). A group of 19 is coming to SCU’s Silicon Valley campus for business classes, advice from tech-industry veterans, and business-plan techniques to help them expand their ventures serving some of the world’s neediest populations.

This year, the 19 social entrepreneurs are in businesses ranging from a sanitary-pad manufacturer who uses cheap banana stems in Uganda, to a jatropha-nut biofuel producer in Western Africa. Others are creating solar or clean energy products to bring light to off-grid populations or replace toxic products now in use. They come from 16 countries including Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya and Pakistan. Descriptions of all the companies can be found here: www.scu.edu/socialbenefit/entrepreneurship/gsbi/alumni/current.cfm .

Source: Market Watch (link opens in a new window)

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