Professor Klaus Schwab created the World Economic Forum as an independent, not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and built it into the foremost global community of world leaders in business, government, academia and civil society committed to improving the state of the world.

In 1998, Klaus Schwab and his wife Hilde decided to create and provide an initial endowment for a second complementary foundation, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, with the purpose to promote entrepreneurial solutions and social commitment with a clear impact at the grassroots level.

The World Economic Forum and the Schwab Foundation work in close partnership to provide Social Entrepreneurs with a platform to showcase their important role in today’s society. Since its creation, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship has supported the selected Social Entrepreneurs of its network to actively participate in the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum, providing them with an opportunity to draw on the support, knowledge and networks of its Members and constituents. 

While the World Economic Forum and the Schwab Foundation cooperate closely, they are separate legal identities and have different Foundation Boards.