Fueling job creation
In 2011, Bob and Dottie King seized a unique opportunity to alleviate poverty by fueling job creation in partnership with the Stanford University Graduate School of Business (GSB). The Kings established the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, better known as Seed, to leverage the GSB’s innovative mindset and deep expertise in entrepreneurship. Seed works in developing economies to foster new entrepreneurial ventures and train entrepreneurs to scale existing enterprises.
In 2018, Seed and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) created a joint venture called the Center on Global Poverty and Development (CGPD), a research center working to improve the lives of the world’s poor. By catalyzing Stanford’s distinctive strengths in research of global poverty and development, the Center is working collaboratively and purposefully to turn path-breaking research into real-world results.
Expanding around the world
Launched with the Kings’ $150 million gift in 2011, Seed combines educational excellence, critical research, and breakthrough innovation to create jobs and reduce poverty. Seed trains business leaders in developing economies, inspires Stanford students to become globally engaged leaders, and supports critical research that can lead to breakthrough solutions.
Seed’s comprehensive approach involves working across multiple fronts and time horizons. Stanford Seed works with established business founders throughout Africa and India to equip them to build thriving enterprises and robust communities. To date, more than 600 businesses have benefited from the Seed Transformation program. Seed also inspires Stanford students to become globally engaged leaders through international internships and on-campus experiences, while providing opportunities for volunteers with business expertise to contribute to the acceleration of growth and positive social change internationally.
Since inception, 25 Stanford professors and lecturers have taught at Seed centers in Africa and India, providing training to over 1200 senior leaders. Stanford students have contributed 23,400 volunteer hours, while Stanford Graduate School of Business alumni and other global business executives have contributed 48,480 volunteer hours. The result of this combined effort, which is called The Seed Effect, is that 86% of business owners grow their customer base, 62% create new jobs and 63% increase their revenue.
Seed also advances university-wide research to develop relevant and impactful poverty alleviation interventions across disciplines through its joint venture with SIEPR: the Center on Global Poverty and Development. This Center is a Stanford University research center working to improve the lives of the world’s poor. From support for emerging scholars to large-scale, multi-faculty initiatives, the Center’s data-driven research efforts span both the public and private sectors. The Center brings together faculty and students from across the university—all schools and institutes—to create an environment where diverse perspectives, disciplines, and methodologies can thrive. Everything the Center does—from research and awarding student fellowships to convening conferences and events—is motivated by the desire to improve policies that will make people’s lives better. Facilitating and participating in two-way exchanges with policymakers and private-sector leaders, research universities, international organizations, and NGOs are key to the Center’s success.