Becoming a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year has provided me with new eyes on what it means to be an entrepreneur.
It is common for an entrepreneur to become so immersed in his or her own idea that it can seem nearly impossible to grasp why the rest of the world has not yet caught on with an innovation that has the ability to deliver tremendous benefits.
Throughout history, people have invested enormous resources to reduce poverty. Yet, in the end, inequality continues to grow. The 21st century is ripe for social entrepreneurship. And yet, social enterprises need more than just the vision and will of their entrepreneurs to succeed in generating positive social or environmental returns.
These visionary entrepreneurs with ambitious ideas for positive social change need platforms with which they can scale up the reach of their impact. In order for their innovation to catch on, they need greater exposure in front of international players like CEOs of international companies, senior government officials and civil society leaders. This is what the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the World Economic Forum offers.
Participating in the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year competition has been a life experience.
It allows us to take the innovative approach we offer for a better world and more equal society to the next level of delivering an impact.
When we found out about the award, we were really overjoyed. We got all the team together and contacted those working in the communities and celebrated this wonderful event. For the entire Echale a Tu Casa team, this is the crowning achievement of 25 years’ effort and the guide to follow until every family in the world has a worthy home.
The award, which is shared by the entire Echale team, has brought us tremendous pride and reaffirms for all of us what the power of vision, commitment to a better world and hard work by an inspired team can do.
Francesco Piazzesi, Chief Executive Officer, Echale a Tu Casa, Mexico;
Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Latin America, 2011