Tool Creators

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Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

The Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University unites our mission to serve humanity with the Silicon Valley principles of innovation and entrepreneurship to lift people out of poverty. We accelerate social entrepreneurs through our three departments: Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI), Impact Capital, and Education & Action Research. Since its launch in 2003, the GSBI has supported over 364 social enterprises working in 63 countries, supported by the program team and 87 executive volunteer mentors.


Founded in 1997, NESsT develops and invests in social enterprises that solve critical social problems in emerging market countries. The organization supports pioneering early-stage enterprises whose innovative business models tackle the cycle of poverty, providing access to technology, dignified jobs and income for the most vulnerable communities.

NESsT uses a longer term, strategic portfolio approach to develop social enterprises. Through a rigorous due diligence process, we select enterprises that have a strong business solution backed by an entrepreneur with a proven track record. We work closely with the management team to validate the business model and prepare for scale. We provide ongoing mentoring and patient capital for 5 years until the enterprises are positioned for scale.

NESsT has invested over USD$11 million in capacity and financial support to launch over 160 high-impact enterprises. NESsT Enterprises have directly improved the quality of life of 400,000 marginalized people.

As a thought leader, NESsT has been at the forefront of social enterprise development, conducting extensive research and disseminating many publications on best practices. We have organized numerous forums on this topic, and are the founder of Social Enterprise Day, an annual event that focuses on fostering an enabling environment for the sector. We leverage our thought leadership to promote policies that further increase the impact of social enterprise.

NESsT and Miller Center would like to thank the members of the Talent Tool Advisory Committee that provided invaluable suggestions, ideas, feedback, and encouragement in the creation of the Tool. Thank you for your commitment to talent!

Molly Alexander, Head of Talent Management, Acumen

Tom Kagerer, COO, Head of Impact Management, Head of iCats, LGTVP

Tom Mohr, Founder and CEO, CEO Quest

Manuela Muller, Manager, edge

Katherine Milligan, Director and Head, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

Alexander Pan, Program Associate, ANDE

We would also like recognize and thank the faculty for their expertise and advice on the content related to the Tool.

Dawn Harris, Professor, Quilan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago

Yaemin Kor, Associate Professor of Management and Moore Research Fellow in the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina.

Richard Levy, Entrepreneur, Founder of Catalytica, Lecturer at Stanford University, Advisor to GSBI, Mentor and Author

Miller Center and NESsT would like to thank our project partners for their generous support for the development of the Inventor to Entrepreneur Talent Tool.

The ANDE Capacity Development Fund (CDF)


CDF fuels initiatives aimed at inter-organizational collaboration and capacity building within the small and growing business (SGB) sector. The goal of the CDF is to increase the productivity and effectiveness of ANDE members, while creating tools and insights that can help the SGB sector as a whole.

The fund launched in 2009 with $1,000,000 in seed funding from the Lemelson Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Shell Foundation. Since then, more than $2.3 million has been disbursed to 34 member organizations. The grant-making facility has been replenished with funds from Citi Foundation, MasterCard Worldwide, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women.

Each year the selection process has been driven by different areas of intended impact. Emphasis has been given to proposals with the potential to alleviate human capital constraints, promote youth entrepreneurship, drive innovation, and encourage collaboration between members. A key ingredient of all funded proposals, however, is the benefit project outcomes will produce for the small and growing business sector as a whole.

The Lemelson Foundation

Lemelson Foundation

The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives, by inspiring and enabling the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises to promote economic growth in the US, and social and economic progress for the poor in developing countries. Established by prolific US inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy in the early 1990's, and lead by the Lemelson family, to date the Foundation has provided or committed more than $185 million in grants and Program-Related Investments in support of its mission.