Operating in developing economies—including India, Sri Lanka, and multiple countries in Africa—Seed helps established entrepreneurs scale their enterprises and enables aspiring entrepreneurs to launch new ventures. By providing high-touch training and other forms of support, Seed empowers promising leaders to solve market problems, create jobs, and spur economic growth.
In 2011, Bob and Dottie King made a $150 million gift to the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) to launch Seed. This gift forms a cornerstone of the Kings’ ongoing investment in high-impact interventions that meaningfully improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. Behind their commitment to Seed lies a vision of leveraging some of GSB’s core assets—including its innovation mindset and its deep expertise in entrepreneurship—to drive positive social impact.
The Seed model enlists Stanford University professors, Stanford alumni, and volunteers with expertise in global business to provide training, one-on-one coaching, and networking support to local entrepreneurs. In addition, Stanford students engage with Seed entrepreneurs through summer internships that allow them both to contribute to the communities they visit and to develop a heightened awareness of emerging markets.
Seed-trained entrepreneurs achieve impact by strengthening their companies, by developing valuable local and global networks, and by creating opportunity for stakeholders who range from employees and suppliers to customers and community members. Significantly, the impact of Seed also extends to the teachers, student interns, and volunteer consultants whose lives are enriched by taking part in the initiative.