Edited by Dr KK Tse

As the Chinese New Year approaches, here are four must-read short articles brought to you from the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Social Entrepreneurs Are Building the Society We Want to Live In

By Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

(This article is part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017)

As I reflect on the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs who are shaping the Davos agenda under this year’s theme, Responsive and Responsible Leadership, I am reminded of the powerful words of Zamantungwa Khumalo, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper from South Africa.

“Responsive leadership for me means taking responsibility for my role in building the society I want to live in,” she wrote in her winning essay on the Annual Meeting 2017 theme. “Responsive leadership has no title, no age group, and has very little to do with whether or not you are an elected official or CEO of a company.”

Zamantungwa’s reflections on responsive leadership epitomise the characteristics of successful social entrepreneurs… (READ FULL ARTICLE)

5 Powerful Ideas for Global Impact from Social Entrepreneurs

By Katherine Milligan, Head of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at the World Economic Forum

Lesson 1. Leverage partnerships for scale

Martin Burt draws on decades of experience to explain why the era of the lone social entrepreneur is over. And he should know: he is the widely celebrated founder of Fundacion Paraguaya, Teach a Man to Fish, and most recently, the Poverty Stoplight, a diagnostic tool that allows families to diagnose their level of poverty and create an action plan to overcome it. In Paraguay alone, dozens of companies are using the tool to eliminate poverty among their labor force. “We are seeing businesses talking to the government about the housing needs in the slums near their factories,” he says, “and they are finding they have something nobody else has: the power of leverage.”

Martin Burt also draws on his experience in the public sector as the Mayor of Asunción and later as the Chief of Cabinet in the previous administration. The keys to success? Start by recognizing that government officials face structural and legal limitations, then strive to identify and empower elected officials who genuinely want to create change…(READ FULL ARTICLE)

Social Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World

By Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

I am delighted to announce the Schwab Foundation’s 2016 Social Entrepreneur of the Year awardees, who will join the world’s largest network of late-stage social enterprises affiliated with The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the sister organization of the World Economic Forum. Nearly half of this year’s winners are women, a fact I am extremely proud of. This year’s awardees are experimenting with business models, innovating new distribution and replication methods, and holding themselves accountable for results – and bringing about transformative societal change in the process.

Eliminating child labour

Take Nina Smith of GoodWeave. GoodWeave works to eliminate child labour from the global carpet industry by intervening at both ends of the supply chain.

At the retail end, GoodWeave has recruited 140 global brands including Macy’s, Restoration Hardware and Target to sell only carpets certified to be child labour free. It also conducts unannounced inspections at production sites in India, Afghanistan and Nepal.

GoodWeave estimates that the number of child labourers in the carpet supply chains has been reduced by 80% in large part due to greater consumer awareness and effective certification protocols, and the organization aims to eliminate child labour in the rug industry by 2020… (READ FULL ARTICLE)

Explainer: What is a Social Entrepreneur?

By Hilde Schwab, Chariperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; and Katherine Milligan, Head of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at the World Economic Forum

Social entrepreneurship is a growing global movement. More and more universities are offering courses on social entrepreneurship, with social enterprise clubs the largest student bodies on many college campuses; governments and corporations alike are setting up social innovation funds and incubators; and many young people we talk with all over the world tell us they work for a social enterprise or have become a social entrepreneur in their own right. Clearly social entrepreneurship has come into its own, recognized as a model that combines the financial disciplines of market capitalism with the passion and compassion required to create a more fair and just world.

But what is social entrepreneurship? Put simply, it’s the use of new approaches to solve old social problems. Throughout history there have been social change agents and activists who have put their societies on a better path. But over the past couple of decades, a distinct, more entrepreneurial approach to alleviating the problems associated with poverty has emerged. That path-breaking generation of social entrepreneurs broke free of the false dichotomy between “it’s a business” or “it’s a charity” to experiment with business models, innovate new distribution and replication methods, and hold themselves accountable for results.

Successful social entrepreneurial interventions create a distinctive break from the status quo, as Zia Khan, the Vice-President of the Rockefeller Foundation, explains… (READ FULL ARTICLE)