Let’s Talk Food, Coffee, Water, and Poverty Eradication

June 15, 2017

Founded in 1997, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is one of three Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University. The centers embody the University’s mission to unite students and faculty with Silicon Valley leaders to address significant public issues. Miller Center accelerates global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity.

(Image courtesy of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship)

Yes, poverty eradication. That last point might seem off the table, but for social enterprises like Agro-Preneur InitiativeFarming Hope, Folia Water, and Vega Coffee, poverty, agriculture and water are more closely connected than one might first think.

How So?

·       Agro-Preneur Initiative trains farmers in business skills and connects them to markets so that their farming can become a profitable business.

·       Farming Hope employs homeless individuals with work in dignified gardening and cooking to help them transition sustainably out of homelessness.

·       Folia Water’s paper water filter technology offers extremely affordable drinking water to those that make less than $10 a day.

·       Vega Coffee empowers Latin American farmers by providing tools, training and market access to let farmers roast and package their own coffee, and therefore earn four times more than they would through other export channels.

A Common Thread

These four social enterprises are alike in their determination to fight poverty, but they are also alike in their connection to Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. The four enterprises are among thirteen others that make up this summer’s GSBI Online Cohort 11. Each enterprise is driven towards a social and/or environmental mission to improve our world for the better, in regions spanning from the Bay Area to countries across Africa. Pure Products Limited, Serve Africa Inc., and Vayu Grid Marketplace Services PLC work in agriculture and water, like those previously listed, while others work in a handful of other sectors. The remaining enterprises drive impact in health care technology, sustainable street vending, clean energy, 3D printing, youth rehabilitation via art workshops, and using the power of community for positive social change.

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