Since 2013, eBay Foundation and the Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI) have partnered with a clear purpose-- to help social entrepreneurs build strong organizations and scale their impact. eBay and GSBI share a theory of change that worldwide poverty alleviation is best accomplished through social enterprise, especially through those organizations that integrate financially sustainable practices into operations and aim for massive scale.
Over the past two years, eBay Foundation has sponsored the participation of six social enterprises in the GSBI Accelerator. The program pairs late-stage social entrepreneurs with Silicon Valley mentors to prepare them to scale already successful businesses. The businesses sponsored by eBay Foundation range from the Kenya-based smallholder farmer micro asset financing organization, Juhudi Kilimo to Prospera, a Mexican company which helps women build sustainable businesses by providing training and access to markets. Each participant came away from the program with a vision for growth andconnections to potential funders to support their organizations’ development.
This fall, eBay Foundation and GSBI are launching their biggest joint project to date, a program for entrepreneurs at an earlier stage in their organizational life cycle. On October 7th we launched a custom cohort of the GSBI Online program. The program aims to develop livelihoods in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the United States. eBay Foundation is sponsoring this initiative as part of a commitment to job creation, small business support, and economic development in these geographic regions.
The 6-month program pairs each social entrepreneur with a savvy Silicon Valley executive mentor. They work together to clarify the social entrepreneur’s businesses models, hone their financials, and plan for scale. This year, for the first time, volunteers from eBay are joining the experienced GSBI mentors to provide technical expertise to many of the companies in the cohort.
The organizations in this cohort enter the program with a diverse array of mission-driven businesses, such as generating income for sex-trafficking survivors in Russia, helping smallholder farmers gain access to the best equipment in China, and providing data collection jobs for marginalized youth in the slums of Brazil. The *18 ventures participating in the program employ different strategies including:
* For a full description of each venture, please visit this page.