Print Download PDF Embed

News Release

Prime Minister of Egypt, H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Nazif, to present award to winner of the social entrepreneur of the year award in Egypt

21 May 2006 - Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt: Egyptian Prime Minister H.E. Ahmed Mahmoud Nazif will present this year’s award to the winner of the “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” competition in Egypt. The winner will be announced at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East Meeting to be held in Sharm-El-Sheikh on May 21.

Social entrepreneurs drive social innovation and transformation in various fields including education, health, environment and enterprise development. They pursue poverty alleviation goals with entrepreneurial zeal, business methods and the courage to innovate and overcome traditional practices.

The three Egyptian finalists are:

Abla El Badry- Hope village Society (
Hope Village Society serves the needs of a particularly vulnerable –yet neglected –segment of children in Cairo: children in difficult circumstances with emphasis on “street children”. Hope Village sponsors several centres in the Cairo area where children get room, board and therapy. To date, Hope Village has reached 20.000 beneficiaries. To further their goal of reuniting children with their troubled families, the organization provides microfinance to those families.

Laila Iskandar - Community & Institutional development (
Community and Institutional Development helps communities set up sustainable solid waste recycling programs. It has demonstrated that garbage recycling projects in rural and urban areas can create jobs, encourage start-up of small industries, while generating a cleaner, healthier environment. The organization started in Cairo in 1995 and has benefited 30.000. It has been replicated in Minia and Sinai.

Maher Boshra - Better Life Association for comprehensive development (BLACD)
BLACD is dedicated to support Minia's approximately 15.000 marble and sandstone quarry workers, fishermen and farmers providing them with safety education, healthcare and legal advice.
The organization has played an important role in making visible the difficult situations faced by marginalized groups and in sensitizing local communities, media and decision makers about these issues. In doing so, it has also raised awareness among these groups themselves to their rights as a first step to empower them.

Previous Egyptian winners are Ibrahim and Hemly Abouleish from SEKEM, the first company in Egypt to introduce bio-dynamic farming methods. Today, SEKEM dominates the domestic market for organic food, phyto-pharmaceuticals and successfully sells to the international market. SEKEM maintains the view that profit-making can go hand-in-hand with social and cultural advancement. It provides employees and the farming communities throughout the country with the chance to improve their education, health and quality of life.

Social entrepreneurship is not a discipline or a new field but is an approach to solving economic, environmental and social challenges that combines pragmatism, opportunity and sustainability. Social entrepreneurs may set up their organizations as for profit or not for profit entities, but their primary goal is social change.

The competition has been spearheaded by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a Geneva-based organization founded by Klaus and Hilde Schwab. The Foundation is the second organization created by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum. Since its inception in 1998, the Foundation has focused on identifying the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, individuals who implement innovative and pragmatic solutions to social problems by tackling the root causes and creating a social transformation. Today the community of the Schwab Foundation includes 96 social entrepreneurs and their organizations from more than 40 countries.

To identify leading social entrepreneurs, The Foundation partners with major national print publications around the world. In Egypt, Business Today Egypt is the Foundation’s partner.

Together with Egyptian Social Entrepreneurs, another four of the world’s leading social innovators of the region will attend the World Economic Forum’s Regional Meeting for the Middle East in Sharm-El-Sheikh in mid May. These individuals and their organizations have been selected by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Other Social Entrepreneurs attending the World Economic Forum on the Middle East event are:

Jeroo Billimoria Child Savings International - The Netherlands
A “serial entrepreneur” who has launched and scaled numerous transformational enterprises, Jeroo has now embarked on a new effort to break the cycle of poverty by empowering children through teaching them about their rights and responsibilities and how to deal with money. This concept has been developed and tested in India over the past four years with more than 70,000 children. It will be rolled out in 2006 in 12-15 economically developing countries.

Yoel Sharon – Etgarim - Israel
Through challenging outdoor adventure sports and a focus on abilities, not disabilities, Etgarim has improved the self-esteem and self-confidence of 30,000 people with physical, emotional and mental disabilities

Tasneem Siddiqui – SAIBAN – Pakistan
Provides solutions to the housing problem of the urban poor, drawing upon the successes of the informal sector in relation to low-income housing, and working with public sector agencies, benefiting 40,000 to date. The model has been recognized nationally and abroad as an effective, sustainable solution to the housing problem of the urban poor around the world.

Roshaneh Zafar – Kashf – Pakistan
The fastest growing microfinance institution in Pakistan and one of the fastest growing in the world, Kashf has achieved a 100% recovery rate after only 8 years of operation. It is the first in Pakistan to promote a financial services approach to microfinance, offering savings and insurance next to loans, and it is the only institution in the country offering insurance to the urban poor. Currently at 70,000 clients, Kashf’s ambitions five-year vision is to reach half a million.

More information about the Schwab Foundation and all the Social Entrepreneurs of the network can be found at

Photos of our events in Switzerland can be downloaded free of charge for journalists at (login required).


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 (