Rob Katz

The $25K Global Social Benefit Incubator 2010

Santa Clara University is known in social entrepreneurial circles for its work helping to organize and judge the Tech Museum Awards – a showcase for social entrepreneurs, mostly from developing countries. An emerging program at SCU is getting more and more press every year: the Global Social Benefit Incubator or GSBI. Next year, 20 organizations will be selected for a full scholarship, valued at US $25,000, to participate in 4-months of online preparation and then to attend the intensive two week in-residence program (to be held August 15-28, 2010).

The GSBI, under the guidance of Professor James L. Koch, selects 15-20 enterprises from developing countries and provides a 4-month mentoring process. The mentoring culminates with an intensive 10-day process in Santa Clara, where entrepreneurs work with their mentors, other experts, and each other to prepare themselves to succeed upon their return home. Applications for the fully-funded 2010 class of entrepreneurs will open over at Social Edge on January 4 and are due by Friday, January 15.

GSBI alumnae include Matt Flannery, Graham Macmillan, Amit Jain, Rajendra Joshi and many more. NextBillion’s Francisco Noguera and Allen Hammond have both been GSBI mentors in past years, and Francisco has reported extensively here on NextBillion about the mentoring sessions and the entrepreneurs themselves.

This year, GSBI will bring a cohort of entrepreneurs focusing on demonstrated solutions for solving the problem of lack of access to clean, reliable, low-cost energy sources, including: off-grid power and light; locally-produced and distributed second-generation bio-fuels; affordable energy-saving devices, such as efficient cook-stoves and more efficient, less-polluting transport vehicles.

Good luck and don’t forget – applications are due January 15!