Print Download PDF Embed

News Release

Latin America Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Presented at World Economic Forum Meeting in Panama

Lucy Jay-Kennedy, Senior Media Manager, Communications Department, Tel.: +1 917 209 94 83, e-mail lucy.jaykennedy3fe61e670588d49cba@2ccab057406853c01weforum.org

Español I Português

  • The Schwab Foundation today announced the winners of the 2014 Latin America Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Panama City, Panama
  • Honourees working throughout Latin America are among 30 Social Entrepreneurs from around the world taking part in the meeting to provide an on-the-ground perspective on sustainability and social innovation.
  • Learn more about the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at www.schwabfound.org

Panama City, Panama, 2 April 2014 Seven Social Entrepreneurs were named today Latin America Social Entrepreneurs of the Year at the World Economic Forum on Latin America, taking place in Panama City, Panama. The awards were conferred by David Aikman, Managing Director, Head of New Champions, World Economic Forum in the presence of Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica; Ricardo Martinelli, President of Panama; Otto Perez Molina, President of Guatemala and Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Social entrepreneurs are an integral community of the World Economic Forum and an increasingly sought after one,” says David Aikman, a Senior Director at the World Economic Forum and Head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “A growing number of corporations see income inequality and environmental problems like climate change as fundamental threats to their long-term growth. Many governments are starting to rethink the way they deliver goods and services that improve social outcomes. I am confident this trend will only continue to grow in the future, and the Forum is proud to be at the forefront of catalysing partnerships among these stakeholder groups for social and environmental change.”

The following have been selected as the 2014 Latin America Social Entrepreneurs of the Year. They have been identified in their respective countries through a selection process involving the Foundation’s Partner organizations, Fundacion Venezuela Sin Limites, the International Labour Organization, El Mercurio and Folha do São Paulo.

José Vicente Aguerrevere, Dia Dia Practimercados, Venezuela

Día Día supports a network of small stores located in popular areas throughout Venezuela with easy access to transportation (eg against Metro stations, bus stops ), with extended care hours (365 days a year, from 7 -11pm ), a wide range of products from leading brands, and is able to ensure reduced food prices for its low-income customers by securing purchasing and distribution agreements with large national chains. Currently, the Día Día Practimercados distribution platform supports 35 stores through 7 states and 16 cities in Venezuela, 70,000 customers per month and one million transactions per month, whilst employing almost 1,000 sales floor associates.

Javier Armando Lozano, Clinicas del Azucar, Mexico

Clinicas del Azúcar are a chain of low-cost diabetes management clinics that provide accessible preventative and supportive care to the underserved Mexicans. With its one-stop shop model, Clinicas del Azucar has reduced patients’ annual costs by 70%, lowered their diabetes complication rates by 60%, and increased significantly their adherence to treatment. By offering a high quality and cost-effective health care to treat and prevent diabetes, Clinicas del Azucar addresses a critical socioeconomic issue, reduces inequality, and improves peoples’ quality of life and overall productivity.

Sasha Kramer, SOIL, Haiti

SOIL is dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities, and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti. In support of this mission, SOIL primarily focuses on promoting the community-identified priority of ecological sanitation (EcoSan), a process by which human wastes are converted into valuable compost. EcoSan simultaneously tackles some of Haiti’s toughest challenges by providing sanitation to people who would otherwise have no access to a toilet and producing an endless supply of rich, organic compost critical for agriculture and reforestation. Working with communities to design and test ecologically and socially beneficial solutions, SOIL implements low-cost technologies that are simple, easy to replicate, require minimal water, and provide safe and dignified access to sanitation.

Rosario Perez, Pro Mujer, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru

Pro Mujer is an international microfinance and women’s development organization whose mission is to provide Latin America’s poorest women with the means to build livelihoods for themselves and futures for their families through microfinance, business training, and healthcare support. Pro Mujer offers loan capital for women’s small-scale businesses and opportunities to save through the communal bank structure, it also provides business training and health and personal development services. Pro Mujer today has fully operating programmes in Bolivia, Peru, Nicaragua, Argentina and Mexico. Over the past 20 years, the organization has disbursed over US$950 million in small loans averaging US$309.

Merula Steagall, Brazilian Lymphoma and Leukemia Association (ABRALE), Brazil

The Brazilian Lymphoma and Leukemia Association (ABRALE), was established to fight for better conditions of treatment and quality of life for patients suffering from rare blood diseases. ABRALE’s model is achieved through a three-pronged approach by working directly with patients, supporting the improvement of the health service given to the public in collaboration with government and scientific societies and works on a model of public treatment which involves various social actors . Bone marrow transplant , cancer outcomes  and data collection and analyses are some of the challenges that the organization is involved. Today, ABRALE supports more than 25,000 people through its programs, throughout eleven Brazilian states, and works with a network of 82 organizations in 19 countries in Latin America, the U.S., Spain and Portugal.

Patrick Struebi, Fairtrasa, Peru

Fairtrasa helps underprivileged small-scale farmers in developing nations escape poverty and improve their lives by providing them with technical support and direct access to local and international markets. By creating a tailored farmer development system, Fairtrasa ensures that growers who previously sold their produce to middlemen increase their yields, improve quality and are paid fair prices for their produce - often up to 10 times higher than local market prices. The result is that farmers are able to grow beyond subsistence level and become self-sufficient.

Luis Szaran, Sonidos de la Tierra, Paraguay

Sonidos de la Tierra uses music as a tool for social and community transformation. Music schools and youth orchestras are currently carrying on their activities and work in over 180 cities, towns, rural and slum schools. The beneficiaries manage the program, generating 88% of the financial resources by their own means, with the remaining budget filled by donor contributions. In 2012, they launched a new program: the H20 Orchestra, with instruments made of bottles, hoses, pipes and funnels, to promote the importance of water. In 2012, the Sonidos de la Tierra youth played at the Forum on Social Entrepreneurship and the New Economy during Rio+20.

To view descriptions of all Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs taking part in the World Economic Forum on Latin America, please visit here.

About the Schwab Foundation

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was co-founded by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and his wife, Hilde. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has been identifying the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and involves the community of 300 award winners in advancing the field of social innovation in collaboration with corporate, government and academic stakeholders. Selected social entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation network participate in World Economic Forum events, thus providing unique opportunities for them to connect with business, political and media leaders. http://www.schwabfound.org.

Notes to Editors

Visit our website at http://www.schwabfound.org
Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/schwabfound
Visit our Blog at http://www.forumblog.org/socialentrepreneurs
Visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/schwabfound
Download the Schwab Foundation’s Social Investment Manual and Corporate Governance Manual
Nominate a social entrepreneur through our website

For further information, contact Kenneth Turner, Senior Community Manager, Latin America & Africa, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, by e-mail at Kenneth.Turner6f1e65f70aa@d96972c4dweforum.org.

The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).

 


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).