Jon Freeman, president and principal owner of real estate investment firm Stonecrest Financial, knows what it’s like to start from scratch and build a business. So he eyes the new generation of entrepreneurs with respect born of realism. Building a business is tough. Building one to make the world a better place is tougher still. That’s why he has put a stake in the ground in support of “capitalism with a conscience” by giving $1.5 million to Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. The Miller center embodies 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. In a nutshell, they identify bright, talented, and passionate young entrepreneurs and give them the tools to succeed.
“I have always believed that the way to tackle challenges such as poverty or the negative impacts of climate change is by eradicating the barriers to opportunity,” said Freeman. “Social entrepreneurs are more likely to build successful enterprises if they can start with a blueprint or proof of concept that has already been developed and confirmed somewhere else in the real world.”
At the heart of the Stonecrest gift is support of market-based solutions to intractable problems affecting vulnerable populations. The Miller center is very well aligned with that mission. They provide foundational support for social entrepreneurs. Social enterprises participating in Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) programs emerge with substantiated, scalable, and investable business models.
The Miller Center grant will be part of a new, non-profit entity created within the Stonecrest family of companies. The new organization, called CapCon (www.CapCon.org) will provide oversight, support, and financial aid for organizations aligned with CapCon’s mission: “to eradicate poverty through economically sustainable, market-based initiatives which improve the lives & livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable populations.”