The Somo Project (UC Berkeley)

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The Somo Project was started to invest in social entrepreneurs committed to changing their own under-resourced communities by providing the necessary training and tools they need to succeed. In Swahili, “somo” means “to learn lessons.” The organization is called the Somo Project because of the team’s belief that talented and visionary entrepreneurs exist in the poorest settlements around the world — but their contributions are often overlooked in development initiatives. Somo identifies people with intimate knowledge of their communities and the relevant social context to address problems such as sanitation, children’s nutrition, job training, and educational opportunity. At the organization’s core is the belief that local context matters and people know their communities and what they need, but often lack the resources to grow and scale a venture. Somo enables people to find their own solutions rather than dictating what their communities need.

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Blum Center for Developing Economies
The University of California, Berkeley
Blum Hall, #5570
Berkeley, CA 94720-5570
(510) 643-5316 • blumcenter@berkeley.edu
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Host and Fellow Responsibilities

Host Organizations

  • Identify staff supervisor to manage I&E Climate Action Fellow
  • Submit fellowship description and tasks
  • Engage in the matching process
  • Mentor and advise students
  • Communicate with Berkeley program director and give feedback on the program.

Berkeley Program Director​

  • Communicate with host organizations, students, and other university departments to ensure smooth program operations

Student Fellows

  • Complete application and cohort activities
  • Communicate with staff and host organizations
  • Successfully complete assignments from host organization during summer practicum
  • Summarize and report summer experience activities post-fellowship