Are you the next Social Entrepreneur of the Year? Prestigious competition in Brazil, Venezuela, and India

Posted on April 18, 2011


Social entrepreneurs of Brazil, Venezuela, and India – this is something which might be of interest and great value to you. Schwab Foundation in collaboration with World Economic Forum is hosting a competition on finding the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ 2011 and in those three countries it’s still open for participation.  The competition in Brazil has deadline the 1st May 2011, Venezuela the deadline is the 15th of May 2011, and for India the deadline is 3oth of May  2011.

Why participate?

Besides gaining visibility for your organization and the social cause for which you work, and in general creating awareness around social entrepreneurship, there is a list of benefits lined up for the winner: Regional Meetings of the World Economic Forum, Inclusion in the Schwab Foundation network of leading social entrepreneurs, Possible nomination to the Forum of Young Global Leaders, Possible nomination to the Global Agenda Councils, Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Schwab Foundation explains:” Winners are invited to participate in the regional meeting of the World Economic Forum, which also provides them with the opportunity to connect to business leaders, key politicians, civil society members and media representatives of the region. Social entrepreneurs working in these regions make important contributions to the outcome-centred discussions and to the key initiatives of World Economic Forum on topics such as health, education and the digital divide. The Foundation covers the costs of the registration fee, travel expenses, and lodging for social entrepreneurs at their first regional event.”

Who can participate?

Schwab lists the following criteria for the selection process:

1. Innovation: The candidate has brought about social change by transforming traditional practice. Such transformation can have been achieved through

• An innovative product or service,
• The development of a different approach, or
• A more determined or rigorous application of known technologies, ideas and approaches.

A salient characteristic of a social entrepreneur is coming up with a pattern-changing idea and implementing it successfully.

2. Sustainability: The candidate has generated the social conditions and/or institutions needed to sustain the initiative and is dedicating all of his/her time to it.

• If set up as a non-profit entity, the organization is achieving some degree of financial self-sustainability through fees or revenues or is engaged in creating mutually beneficial partnerships with business and/or the public sector. Where possible, economic incentives are embraced. In any case, there is a clear difference from traditional charity and a move towards community-based empowerment and sustainability. There is also a difference with traditional business.

• If set up as a for-profit entity, the orientation toward social and environmental value creation predominates, with financial return treated as a secondary means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

3. Direct social impact: The candidate has founded, developed and implemented the entrepreneurial initiative directly, together with poor or marginalized beneficiaries and stakeholders. Impact manifests itself in quantifiable results and testimonials and is well documented. There are no significant negative externalities.

The Schwab Foundation will also consider the 2 criteria below in determining the winner:

4. Reach and Scope: The social entrepreneur’s initiative has spread beyond its initial context and has been adapted successfully to other settings in the country or internationally, either by the entrepreneur him/herself, or through others who have replicated or adapted elements of it.

5. Replicability: The initiative can be adapted to other regions of the world to solve similar problems. The entrepreneur is open to sharing with others the tools, approaches and techniques that are critical to the adaptation of the initiative.

Read more about the competition, the selection process and how to apply here.