The networking opportunities provided for Social Entrepreneurs by the Schwab Foundation have resulted in increased visibility, credibility, access to finance, partnerships, policy changes, media attention and an increased knowledge of global affairs, as described by themselves hereafter.
Social Entrepreneurs, in return, have inspired many business, political and media leaders at Forum events. Business leaders have set up social venture funds, started social entrepreneurship activities within their corporations, taken into account social innovations; and governments have passed legislation in favour of the creation of social enterprises
Developing Partnerships with the Corporate Sector
Martin J. Fisher and Nick Moon, KickStart International, Kenya
"Being selected as a member of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship gave us exactly the platform we needed to take KickStart to a whole new level. We developed partnerships with major new donors at Davos, including our US$ 6 million partnership with John Deere. We were featured in Time, Newsweek and many other publications. We met a dynamic community of Social Entrepreneurs whom we still learn from today. We have increased our annual impacts by a factor of 3.5 since 2003 and to date have lifted over 500,000 people out of poverty. None of this would have been possible without the Schwab Foundation and the World Economic Forum."
J. B. Schramm, College Summit, USA
"The Schwab Foundation and World Economic Forum give me a chance to step back to consider the forces driving economic and cultural changes and the resulting implications for American public education. Leaders at Davos from government, business as well social change sectors find common ground and spot opportunities for collaboration. For example, one bilateral, 15-minute meeting at Davos led to significant shifts, making it possible for thousands of American high schools to learn how their students fared in college."
Marcela Benitez, Social and Economic Recovery of National Rural Villages at Risk of Disappearing (RESPONDE), Argentina
"The Schwab Foundation and the World Economic Forum have played an important role in increasing RESPONDE's recognition, with companies wanting to support new projects in rural villages. The Annual Meeting and regional events also give us the opportunity to meet people who want to support our mission."
Mel Young, Homeless World Cup, United Kingdom
"The Schwab Foundation and the World Economic Forum have provided a fantastic platform for social entrepreneurship, which in turn has given Social Entrepreneurs a clear profile and global recognition. This platform has also given social entrepreneurship credibility and allowed the enterprises that Social Entrepreneurs are involved in room to flourish and therefore make a real and practical impact. In my own case, the Schwab Foundation has provided fantastic support and understanding, including introductions and significant networking opportunities, which have allowed our organization to grow substantially over the years. I am incredibly grateful. For example, I was introduced to senior executives from Nike and as a result of that contact, we subsequently created a partnership that has grown and developed over the years. This is really positive but – even more significantly – as a result, thousands of homeless people throughout the world have been able to use this platform to change their lives forever."
Scaling and Regional Expansion of the Impact of the Social Enterprises
Martin Burt, Fundación Paraguaya, Paraguay
"Fundación Paraguaya's activities have been advanced with support of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Active involvement in the Schwab Foundation community and participation in the World Economic Forum and Global Agenda Councils have opened new doors at regional and global levels, enhanced credibility and provided unparalleled opportunities to extend the social enterprise model for education to other countries. These include Nicaragua, Bolivia, Brazil, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Uganda. We have started a network to promote “education that pays for itself” through our UK-based network called Teach A Man To Fish, which has 2,000 members from 125 countries."
Geoffrey Cape, Evergreen Foundation, Canada
"The Schwab Foundation and the World Economic Forum have been tremendously valuable for Evergreen and me. Over the past four years, they have given us the opportunity to develop relationships at the international level to support our work. As a result, Evergreen has grown in both impact and scope over this period."
James R. Fruchterman, The Benetech Initiative, USA
"The Schwab Foundation was my first link to the world of international social entrepreneurship. Access to peers is the most important way for advanced practitioners to learn and improve their work, and being involved with the World Economic Forum gives me access to top business people, Social Entrepreneurs, NGO leaders and policy-makers. Conversations convened by the Forum in Switzerland, Brazil, India and Mozambique have been instrumental in multiplying our work tenfold since we joined the Schwab Foundation network. As we look forward to increasing our impact by another factor of 10 in the coming years, I know that help from the Forum and Foundation and my peer Social Entrepreneurs will be crucial enablers."
Linda Rottenberg, Endeavor Global, USA
"The Schwab Foundation and World Economic Forum have been indispensable in helping Endeavor to build our High-Impact Entrepreneurship movement – promoting our cause throughout the world and helping us locate many valuable partners and collaborators. Four years ago, I had the pleasure to participate at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East at the Dead Sea. Connections with local business leaders made at this event led directly to Endeavor's launches in Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, setting in motion our expansion across the Middle East."
Sanjit (Bunker) Roy, Barefoot College, India
"The World Economic Forum and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship provided Barefoot College with the global platform to test our ideas in other parts of the world. The exposure provided the connections and the funding to scale up the bottom-up, low-cost community-based approach in over 30 countries."
Shaping Industry and Policy Dialogues
Christopher J. Elias, PATH (Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health), USA
"Membership in the Schwab Foundation community has been invaluable to PATH. Participation in the Annual Meeting in Davos afforded us the opportunity to work closely with the World Economic Forum’s Global Health Initiative, including participation in the various Industry Partner meetings and subsequent participation in the advisory group for the development of an innovation index. In addition, our membership has allowed us to advance a number of industry relationships with key private sector partners, strengthen PATH’s government relationships in countries where it is implementing projects, participate in the development of the Global Redesign Initiative proposal entitled “Partnership for Health Risk Accountability” and engage with other Social Entrepreneurs within the Schwab Foundation community to our mutual benefit."
Harish Hande, SELCO Solar Light (P) Limited, India
"The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the World Economic Forum have been the perfect platforms to raise the issue of energy access for the poor. This issue is extremely critical for the world in terms of social and environmental sustainability. Though the Schwab Foundation, SELCO has been able to push the energy access agenda. I am extremely encouraged at the progress, especially as the issue is now on the agenda of many forums, including the Global Agenda Council and international climate change negotiations, and thus, being brought to the attention of many policy-makers around the world. This would not have happened without the backing of the Foundation.
Knowledge Generation among Social Entrepreneurs and with Other Global Leaders
Tasneem A. Siddiqui, Saiban – Action Research for Shelter, Pakistan
"The Schwab Foundation’s initiative in bringing together Social Entrepreneurs from all over the world is unique. The exposure we received from the World Economic Forum greatly helped us convince policy-makers in Pakistan to accept our incremental development approach to housing. It also resulted in a partnership with Waste Concern of Bangladesh for a compost plant."
Roberto Milk, Novica, USA
"We are grateful to the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship for providing an incredible platform for like minds to share ideas and come together to generate broader international impact. Our Artisan Loans microcredit programme is a direct result of conversations held in Davos with fellow Social Entrepreneurs. Thank you to the Schwab Foundation and the World Economic Forum for providing the space for magic to happen."
Markus H. Seidel, Off Road Kids Foundation, Germany
"To become and to be a community-member of the Schwab Foundation’s selection of Social Entrepreneurs was one incredible mind-spreading experience. To receive such an inspiring injection of knowledge especially by the World Economic Forum was never expected by me. In a unique way, the Schwab Foundation continuously links the Social Entrepreneur’s concerns to decision-makers – locally and globally."