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Aruba, May 8, 2012 - A new program, GSBI Online, will be piloted targeting social-entrepreneurs running business-oriented organizations that also aim to solve major social problems such as poverty, hunger or lack of power in underserved communities. 

The World Bank Institute’s Development Marketplace is partnering with Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society to expand its highly successful mentoring and training program for social entrepreneurs — the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) – to an entirely online format. This 8 week pilot will be staged into two parts, one beginning in May and the other in September. The purpose of the pilot is to test the translation of a successful face-to-face curriculum into an online format before making it available to social entrepreneurs around the world.
Up to 25 grantees, identified through the Development Marketplace and GSBI, will go through the initial pilot which will help participants create sustainable business plans to grow their organizations. By the end of the nine-module program, participants will have produced elevator pitches, business plan summary presentations, and investment profiles necessary to attract business and financial partners.

“The World Bank Development Marketplace and the GSBI collectively have more than  25 years of working with social entrepreneurs to develop and distribute public goods and services to the poorest of the poor,” said Arvind Gupta, Development Marketplace Team Leader. “With its emphasis on business skills training, GSBI Online is a natural next step for both organizations.”
Like the current GSBI in-residence program, GSBI Online will provide mentors and interactive training to help entrepreneurs. The new online delivery format will reach a greater number of entrepreneurs including earlier stage ventures and those unable to travel. 

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