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Middle East Social Entrepreneurs of 2009 Awarded

Dead Sea, Jordan, 13 May 2009 – Two new social entrepreneurs with significant impact in the region have been recognized by the Schwab Foundation as winners of the Middle East Regional Social Entrepreneurs 2009. Naif Al Mutawa, Founder and Chairman of Teshkeel Media Group, Kuwait, and Ziad Al Refai, Chief Executive Officer, Tamweelcom, Jordan, will join other leading social entrepreneurs at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, 15-17 May 2009.

This group of social entrepreneurs from the Middle East and from Brazil, Cambodia, Germany, Turkey and the United Kingdom will be active participants in the discussions at the forthcoming meeting. Their primary focus is not maximizing profit, but maximizing benefits for society and the environment. They develop innovative business models in energy efficiencies, education, waste management, health, education, youth, and rural development, with a vision for large-scale impact.

“This crisis teaches us that we need to refocus the economy on serving society. It is these social entrepreneurs who show us the way to a sustainable future,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum and Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs emphasize long-term sustainability instead of short-term gains. Their primary focus is to maximize benefits for society and the environment by implementing innovative approaches to the key challenges the world is facing. They operate social businesses or organizations that are a mixture of non-profits and for-profits.

The winners of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the Middle East 2009 will be presented with their awards by the Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation, Mrs Hilde Schwab, at a special plenary session of the Middle East meeting on 16 May 2009, in the presence of the distinguished guests and participants of the World Economic Forum.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, an affiliate organization of the World Economic Forum, conducts the search and selection of social entrepreneurs in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, India and South-East Asia. It selects several social entrepreneurs per year from each region. Selected social entrepreneurs are connected to the world’s business, political and media leaders through the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum.

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 (