The Schwab Foundation announced the winners of the Latin America Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The six Honourees working in Brazil, Central America, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela are among 25 Social Entrepreneurs from around the world taking part in the meeting to provide an on-the-ground perspective on sustainability and social innovation.
The awards were conferred by Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Switzerland, in the presence of President Felipe Calderón of Mexico; President Désiré Bouterse of the Republic of Suriname; and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey of Spain.
Social entrepreneurs are the driving force behind the innovations that improve the quality of life of individuals around the world,” explained Mirjam Schöning, Senior Director and Head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, based in Switzerland. “The primary focus of Social Entrepreneurs is to make a specific change in one area – such as access to education or affordable housing. But in doing so, their innovative, scalable solutions create an even wider social impact and they truly become partners in transformation for governments and companies.”
The new Social Entrepreneurs of the Year are:
- Greg Van Kirk, from Community Enterprise Solutions, a company which lowers risks for micro-entrepreneurs. using consignment instead of loans.
- Philip Wilson, from Ecofiltro which aims to solve the acute and growing water crisis in developing countries through the sale of simple and affordable in-home water filters made from locally sourced materials, like clay, sawdust and colloidal silver.
- Mois Cherem from ENOVA, Mexican company that. provides access to modern learning infrastructure and content with a blended model of e-learning with facilitators and a deep, real-time analysis of the student’s learning patterns.
- Martín Andrade from Fundación Mi Parque, architect that works to improve the lives of poor families by increasing access to green space by engaging families and the private and public sectors.
- Gisela Solymos from Centro de Recuperação e Educação Nutricional (CREN) company that has pioneered new methods for tackling widespread malnutrition and under-nutrition, initially in São Paolo and now throughout Brazil and other parts of Latin America.
- Tomas Sanabria from Maniapure, company that works with rural health practitioners to formalize partnerships between advanced medical facilities and local health organizations. Maniapure leverages the power of communications technology by helping rural clinics incorporate wireless technologies that allow rural health workers to connect with specialists in Caracas and other major cities for consultation and treatment options for rural patients.
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