Powering the Next Generation

May 24, 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)

“A few things I’m grateful for: my team, air conditioning, Uber, bug bites that don’t itch, and hotels that have hot water” – Erika Francks.

Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is committed to fighting global poverty to create a more just world. The center works towards this mission by supporting social enterprises around the world, through programs like the Global Social Benefit Fellowship. The Fellowship selects Santa Clara University students to work in a nine-month action research project for social enterprises in Miller Center’s network. In 2016 there were eighteen fellows working on eight projects around the world.

Three of the fellows, Erika Francks, Nate Bradford and Carson Whisler, worked with ONergy, a for-profit social enterprise that offers affordable solar solutions to those without access to clean energy in India. The rural communities served by ONergy do not have access to a power grid, which leads to numerous hardships in citizens’ lives. ONergy brings many solar solutions to these communities, such as solar panels for schools, solar water pumps, and solar microgrids. With these solutions, residents no longer need to worry about lacking light at night, or lacking water for crops.

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