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

Michèle Mischler, Associate Director, Tel.: +41 79 571 82 25, E-mail:

  • The Schwab Foundation today announced the winners of the 2013 Latin America Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Lima, Peru
  • Honourees working in Brazil, Mexico and Peru are among 24 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

Lima, Peru, 24 April 2013 Three Social Entrepreneurs were named today Latin America Social Entrepreneurs of the Year at the World Economic Forum on Latin America, taking place in Lima, Peru. The awards were conferred by Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in the presence of President Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso of Peru; President Ricardo Martinelli of Panama and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.

“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 2013 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.

Cybele Amado de Oliveira, Chapada Institute for Education and Research

According to a 2011 government survey, approximately 15% of young Brazilians are functionally illiterate, despite having attended school. Of these youth, 2% are completely illiterate and 13% have a rudimentary level of literacy. The core of the Chapada Institute is the Chapada Project, an initiative to establish mechanisms for accountability so that parents, teachers, administrators and elected officials can take ownership of the education system. The impact of the Chapada Project on students is clear: the percentage of first graders performing at grade level increased from 33% to 74%. Data also shows that 90% of first graders had achieved full literacy. In 2012, the Chapada Institute trained about 4,000 teachers, impacting over 72,000 students. 

Mois Cherem, ENOVA

In Mexico, only 25 of every 100 students who start elementary school will graduate from high school and just 13 will graduate from college. As the global economy and domestic labour market become more dependent on digital services and the Internet, access to computer literacy programmes and communications technology is increasingly important. ENOVA 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. ENOVA has developed community centres, known as the Red de Innovación y Aprendizaje (RIA, or Learning and Innovation Network), in low-income areas, which provide access to e-learning modules and in-person facilitators. Advanced technologies along with well-trained facilitators have permitted RIA to become the biggest network of digital centres in Mexico. With these 70 sites, ENOVA has approximately 235,000 registered members and 9,000 new students per month.

Kurt Holle, Rainforest Expeditions

The Amazon rainforest faces numerous threats including illegal timber extraction, gold mining, poaching and agricultural expansion. In many cases the rainforests inhabitants have little leverage to protect the forest and deal with encroaching threats. Rainforest Expeditions is a private tourism company that adds value to the Amazon forest through tourism. Founded in the 1990s, Rainforest Expeditions was the first company in Peru, and the second in South America, to partner with a native community to engage in tourism partnerships. The company manages three eco-lodges in the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon – Posada Amazonas, Refugio Amazonas and the Tambopata Research Center – host to 13,000 guests per year. The Posada Amazonas is entirely owned by the native community of Infierno and co-managed by Rainforest Expeditions, with profits from the lodge shared. By including the community as a partner, Rainforest Expeditions generates a commitment to the conservation of the forests, including such difficult practices as the enforcement of no hunting zones.

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

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 200 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.

Notes to Editors

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For further information, contact Kenneth Turner, Senior Community Manager, Latin America & Africa, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, by telephone at + 41 (0)22 869 3896  or by e-mail at

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