Social entrepreneurs improve millions of lives

The Schwab Foundation Report

20 January 2020 | Sakenuus
Social entrepreneurs have improved about 622 million lives around the world over the past 20 years, according to the findings of a new report released on Friday.

The Schwab Foundation Report for Social Entrepreneurship shows how social entrepreneurs can achieve impact at scale, change the systems in which they operate and contribute to sustainable development goals.

The social entrepreneur community has distributed more than US$6.7 billion to projects and products that have enhanced livelihoods by increasing healthcare access, providing clean energy solutions, and improving education outcomes, the report found.

It has also mitigated more than 192 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent to taking around 40.7 million passenger vehicles off the road for a year.

"This report challenges the notion that models of social innovation can be dismissed as small, isolated islands of success amidst our overwhelming global challenges," said Hilde Schwab, co-founder and chairperson of the Schwab Foundation.

"Consider the combined capability of all social innovators in the world, those recognised in networks like the Schwab Foundation, and the hundreds of thousands that exist in local communities around the world."

According to the report, social entrepreneurs operate in more than 190 countries, with 25 percent of them reaching at least 90 countries each. All 10 countries in which social entrepreneurs are most active are low to middle income markets, with the exception of the US, and six of those are in Africa.

The countries include Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and the US.

"Social innovators have pioneered sustainable approaches and inclusive business models, and serve as a clear demonstration that models of stakeholder capitalism can indeed work," said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

"By having as its mission the engagement of all stakeholders in the creation of social and economic value, social entrepreneurs have proven how employees, customers, suppliers, local communities and the environment can benefit."

The Schwab Foundation was established 20 years ago as a platform to support an under-recognised movement of people who were developing innovative business models delivering social or environmental good.

It represents 384 late-stage social innovators operating in more than 190 countries worldwide.

"Social entrepreneurship demonstrates alternative working models to face the current critical challenges to our planet, our societies and our economies," said Francois Bonnici, head of the Schwab Foundation.

"In the galvanising era of our common agreed purpose towards the sustainable development goals, we recognise that this community, as an organisational expression of social innovation has much to offer, given how catalytic these approaches are already proving to be."

The report was released as global leaders prepare for the World Economic Forum's 50th annual meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland from January 21 to 24.

Organisers said the meeting would bring together over 3,000 leaders from politics, government, civil society, academia, the arts and culture as well as the media. – Nampa/ANA

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