GSBI 2009

The Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI™), a program developed by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society, assists social benefit entrepreneurs in developing business plans that enable their organizations to reach increasing numbers of beneficiaries.

The GSBI consists of three major components:

1. An on-line, mentored, application process hosted on Social Edge and based on three business planning exercises designed to benefit all who participate.
2. 20 organization selected from the application process receive scholarships for an online (4 month) and in-residence (2 week) program that involves “action learning” and mentoring to prepare a sustainable plan for the organization.
3. On-going mentoring and collaboration for all who complete the in-residence component.

All who participate in the Business Planning Exercises will benefit from the mentoring and feedback on their application, and up to 20 organizations will be selected for a full scholarship, valued at US $25,000, to participate in the 4-month online preparation and then to attend the intensive two week in-residence program. Selected candidates are responsible for their travel expenses (airfare, ground transportation, passport, and visa).

The application process involves completing three exercises where applicants define their value proposition, target market (beneficiaries), and “social business” model (key income and expense drivers).

Applicants should begin preparing their exercises and post them on Social Edge beginning January 6, 2009. Each submittal is reviewed by a GSBI™ staff member (the GSBI™ Application Mentoring Team). Social Edge members also are invited to review and comment on the exercises of any organization. Participants in the 2009 GSBI™ in-residence program will be selected from those organizations that complete all three exercises.

The 4-month on-line preparation and two-week in residence program held each summer (this year: August 16 - August 29, 2009) at Santa Clara University in California, is a leadership training program in which the selected social entrepreneurs, working with faculty and mentors, learn key business skills for managing sustainability and scalability, and complete a strategic business plan and one-year tactical plan for their organization.

Over the past 6 years, 87 participants in the GSBI™ have developed know-how in critical areas of business planning, including: focused mission/vision, target market segmentation, business models, finance, organizational capacity building, and metrics. The vast majority (59) of these organizations have been able to scale their operations, many by factors of 100 or more. Based on these results, we think you will find that the GSBI™ is a transformational program for people with the power and vision to change the world.

How to participate:

Become a member of and complete the following three GSBI™ Business Planning Exercises:

1. Value Proposition (Due Friday, January 16, 2009 Application Deadline Extended to January 20, 2009 at 08:00 GMT )

Update January 21: Due to the volume of applications received for this year's GSBI, the GSBI Mentoring Team will not be able to provide feedback to candidates who posted their Value Proposition after the deadline (Jan. 20 at 08:00 GMT).

If you haven't yet submitted your Value Proposition, we encourage you to do so immediately then proceed to Exercise 2 - Target Market. As long as you complete the Target Market Exercise before the January 31 deadline, you will receive feedback on that exercise and you may still be considered for the 2009 GSBI.

If you have submitted your Value Proposition within the deadline, please follow your Mentor's assessment and proceed immediately to Exercise 2 - Target Market.

Thank you for your interest in the GSBI.
2. Target Market (Beneficiary) Statement (Due Friday, January 30, 2009)
3. Definition of a Business Model (Due Friday, February 20, 2009)

The exercises and collaboration are intended to benefit the entire social venture community, accelerating our knowledge sharing and our understanding of foundational principals behind scaling and sustainability.

In the description of the exercise, the Aravind Eye Care System is used as an example. A separate full example, BushProof, also is provided for your review prior to completing the exercises for your organization. Each of the examples has slightly different level of detail. You should use these examples as a guide for completing the exercises, but your answers should focus on the specifics that best characterize your organization.

The GSBI™ Application Task Force will review and comment on the exercises of all 2009 GSBI™ applications (submitted by the due dates above).

After the application process is over, Social Edge provides a “knowledge repository” for the GSBI™ Business Planning Exercises, enabling Social Edge members to search/access the information in the exercises, and to use this information for collaborating with others.

Finalists will be invited to apply to the GSBI™ In-Residence Program

By Monday, March 2, 2009, the GSBI™-2009 mentoring team will select finalists for the GSBI™ from those applicants who have completed all three exercises. Finalists will be asked to submit (by email) a short application form and a letter of support from their Board (the application form and “pro forma” letter will be available on Social Edge and will be submitted via email). The application form deadline is Friday, March 6, 2009. The participants are selected from the finalists and are expected to be chosen and notified by Friday, April 3, 2009.

Best wishes and good luck,

Social Edge and GSBI™

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