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Social Entrepreneurs of the Year for the Arab World Awarded at World Economic Forum Special Meeting

Katherine Milligan, Head of Middle East, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship  Tel: +962 77 673 8535;  E-mail: Katherine.Milligan5e8498@bbe24f75c3868schwabfound.org

  • The Schwab Foundation announces two winners of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the Arab World award
  • Curt Rhodes of Questscope in Jordan provides non-formal education to vulnerable dropouts
  • Sameh Seif Ghali of Together Association for Development and the Environment in Upper Egypt improves sanitation and access to clean water in remote villages
  • Learn more about the Schwab Foundation at www.schwabfound.org

Dead Sea, Jordan, 22 October 2011 – Two Social Entrepreneurs from Egypt and Jordan were today recognized as leading social innovators at the World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab World taking place at the Dead Sea in Jordan. 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 two winners are:

Curt Rhodes – Questscope, JordanCurt Rhodes – Questscope, Jordan
Questscope provides peer-to-peer mentoring and educational alternatives to help reintegrate marginalized and at-risk youth into mainstream entrepreneurial and social opportunities. In partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Education, Questscope designed and implemented the first accredited non-formal education curriculum in the Arab world, enrolling more than 7,000 young people in basic education, with half of them obtaining diplomas and a further 600 graduating from vocational training. Four thousand student volunteers from five Jordanian universities have been trained and supervised to mentor 6,000 youth offenders. Integral to the Questscope model are strong national partnerships in the public and business sectors, “bottom-up” policy advocacy and a high level of attention to individuals. Mentoring (including children of prisoners) and alternative education programmes have been expanded to Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Northern Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon.

Sameh Seif Ghali – Together Association for Development and the Environment, Egypt

Sameh Seif Ghali – Together Association for Development and the Environment, Egypt
Working in five governates in Upper Egypt, the Together Association has brought innovative and low-cost sanitation technologies to some of the region’s most isolated villages. The sanitation system designed by Seif can serve several thousand households and costs less than one-third of more traditional systems, enabling Egypt’s rural poor to access proper sanitation services they previously could not afford. To assure the sustainability and local ownership of the projects, the Together Association works directly with community organizations and leaders and also offers microloans to enable individual households to connect to the village sewage grid. Through its many partners, the Together Association has been able to provide a variety of value-added community development services to its constituents, including employment training. To date, more than 37,000 Egyptians have directly benefited from the Together Association’s sanitation systems and other services.

To view descriptions of the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs taking part in the Special Meeting, please visit www.weforum.org/pdf/schwabfound/SocialEntrepreneurs_Jordan2011.pdf

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.

Follow the Schwab Foundation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/schwabfound


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).