Drones that deliver vaccines, medicine and blood transfusions in rural Rwanda, and a project that seeks to eradicate poaching by giving farmers education and access to premium markets for their products, are some of the winners of the Schwab Foundation’s 2017 Social Entrepreneurs awards. The distinction is given to “17 outstanding leaders”, providing them access to a network to exchange expertise and experience, as well as global visibility.
The entrepreneurs of the year are at the helms of organisations in fields “ranging from refugee family reunification and human rights to water infrastructure and financial inclusion”, the foundation explains. The Last Mile Health, led by Raj Panjabi, is one such example. The initiative has pioneered a Community Health Worker model to reach people and offer health care to people living more than 5km from the nearest clinic.
Another example, Fundación Capital in Colombia and Panama, is facilitating partnerships between governments and financial institutions to provide inclusive financial services and social programmes, having reached over 5 million people in 2016. The Kitchen Project, in the US, is bringing together a group of affordable restaurants to sell healthy, local food, “to start a revolution in western food culture” and combat obesity and malnourishment.
A sister organisation of the World Economic Forum, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship provides platforms at the regional and global level to highlight and advance leading models of sustainable social innovation. Check out the full list of the 2017 Entrepreneurs and their stories here.