Press Release: Miller Center Seeks Enterprises Serving Migrants, Refugees, and Human Trafficking Survivors

Monday, June 3, 2019

Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University today announced its second Social Entrepreneurship at the Margins accelerator (SEM 2), designed to sharpen business plans, impact scaling, and investment readiness for enterprises serving migrants, refugees, or human trafficking survivors.  Building on its pioneering SEM work in 2018, Miller Center brings 16-years-experience accelerating more than 1000 social enterprises in 100 countries.

Globally, there are 68.5 million people forcibly displaced from their homes — 25.5 million of those are refugees — and a record 258 million migrants, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency and the World Health Organization, respectively. The International Labour Organization estimates human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide, with 40.3 million modern day slaves; 75% are women and girls.

“We embarked on a journey last year, applying our depth of expertise at accompanying social enterprises to help organizations serving migrants, refugees, and human trafficking survivors and shared what we learned about the specific needs of enterprises working with the most marginalized of our common human family,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., Executive Director of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.  “There is a clear and urgent need for bottom-up, enterprise level approaches that afford displaced people with dignified livelihoods.”

Key learnings from the 2018 SEM accelerator show that social enterprises are encountering gaps that inhibit their ability to scale; foremost among these is access to appropriate sources of funding. Miller Center believes business models that provide dignified work are highly replicable and those that utilize technology platforms have the potential for significant scale.

The Chao Foundation/Transparent Fish Fund has generously provided funding for the original SEM, as well as SEM 2 Online, a six-month, mentored virtual accelerator program created by Miller Center and designed to develop the social enterprise’s impact and business models at no cost to participants.  The program connects entrepreneurs with seasoned, executive mentors who help build the organization’s growth and funding plans, its financial model and marketing materials to grow the enterprise in a sustainable way.

“Chao Foundation/Transparent Fish Fund is pleased to partner with Miller Center in its pioneering work to accelerate social enterprises serving migrants, refugees, and human trafficking survivors,” said Doug Tsui, Board member and Advisor to the Chao Foundation/Transparent Fish Fund. “We are committed to serving children and women in disadvantaged regions and to promoting a spirit of philanthropy. Our involvement allows us to advance our mission.”         

The call for SEM 2 applications is worldwide; enterprises with impact in Asia are particularly encouraged to apply. Social enterprises that focus on migrants, refugees, or human trafficking survivors are invited to apply here. Applications are open until August 23, 2019.  Finalists will be notified in September and the program will commence in October.

Miller Center is seeking funding for an In-Residence component and Investor Showcase for SEM 2, and invites foundations and family offices with interest in refugees, migrants, or human trafficking survivors to join Miller Center on its journey to transform dysfunctional systems through social entrepreneurship.

Photo courtesy of Natalia Cieslik.

Source: Press Release

accelerators, migrants, refugees, social enterprise