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Middle East And North Africa “Social Entrepreneurs Of The Year” Awarded


Two Social Entrepreneurs – one from Morocco and one from Tunisia – were recognized as leading social innovators during a plenary session at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, Marrakech, Morocco on 26 October. The awards were conferred by Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Social Entrepreneurs provide innovative, cost-effective, scalable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges – a critical resource in today’s economic climate. They blend business acumen with social objectives to address poverty and environmental challenges, and can, with limited resources, have transformative effects – not just on marginalized communities and populations where they often work, but also on entire sectors and economies.

The following winners received awards at the meeting:

Mhammed Abbad Andaloussi – Al Jisr, Morocco

Al Jisr has mobilized all parts of Moroccan society which have a vested interest in improving educational outcomes. He has succeeded in fostering true public-private partnerships in the education sector. With support from the Moroccan Ministry of Education, over 100 of Morocco’s leading companies have adopted 300 Moroccan schools. Business executives volunteer their time, resources and management expertise to join forces with parents, teachers and administrators on “school support councils” that improve key indicators of each school’s performance. Al Jisr’s efforts have already impacted the quality of education and school facilities for 150,000 students in 300 schools. Mr Andaloussi aims to reach 1,000 schools across Morocco by 2014. 


Essma Ben Hamida – enda inter-arabe, Tunisia 

Enda inter arabe was co-founded by Essma Ben Hamida and her husband, Michael Cracknell, in 1990. Today it is the first and only best-practice microfinance institution in Tunisia with a staff of 750 across 60 branches. Enda serves 140,000 active clients with a US$ 48 million loan portfolio and a repayment rate above 99%. In addition to issuing traditional lines of credit, enda has developed specialized products including education loans, housing loans and agricultural products. Now expanding rapidly in rural areas, enda aims to have 100 branches across Tunisia by 2012. Ms Ben Hamida is also a founding member and former chair of Sanabel, the Arabic Microfinance Network, with 78 member MFIs in 12 Arab countries. 

To view descriptions of all Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs present at the meeting, 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 in over 40 countries around the globe. Social entrepreneurs implement innovative and pragmatic solutions to social problems by tackling the root causes and creating social transformation. 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. 


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