Highlights & Updates


Martina Szabo

Agile social enterprises find expanded financial support from the COVID Response Alliance

The World Economic Forum launched the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs to bring together 60 leading organizations to amplify support for social entrepreneurs working to help vulnerable communities during the pandemic and beyond. Alliance members have been providing holistic support to more than 15,000 social entrepreneurs, reaching 1.5 billion people cumulatively in over 190 countries.

The US African Development Foundation is amplifying and expanding financial support for Social Entrepreneurs

One of the partners of the Alliance, The US African Development Foundation, has expanded support for social enterprises that have quickly pivoted operations to respond to the pandemic, like Afrikapu.

Afrikapu, first awarded a USAF grant in 2019, is a social enterprise that works with artisans to design and sell leather and textile products for domestic and international customers. When the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in their efforts to develop markets and systems to reach more artisans in rural and peri-urban areas, and informal settlements, the team was able to quickly pivot their efforts and continue supporting artisans in underprivileged communities by helping them make washable masks and gloves.

Despite needing to halt group trainings (vital for quality control and expansion), reduced options for shipping and finding raw materials and enormous challenges to global distribution partnerships, this small and growing venture was able to be agile in the face of adversity. USADF has increased its financial support to this enterprise to help it support local communities and contribute to their pandemic responses.

Insights on manufacturing resilience in the COVID-19 context in the Middle East

The Forum has brought together two communities, in collaboration with Kearney, to collect and share insights on manufacturing resilience in the face of COVID-19 for businesses in the Middle East.

Image: World Economic Forum
  • The Regional Action Group for MENA, a platform that aims to strengthen resilience and inclusion in the post-COVID era, met with the Forum's Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production to share experiences across industries in the region.
  • This effort identified best responses to the COVID-19 crisis in the short-term, and identified several private-sector practices and actions to increase resilience in the long-run.
  • Read the report to learn how executives across the region are thinking about the best ways to protect employees, overhauling manufacturing and supply networks to increase resilience, reshaping relationships with suppliers, incorporating advanced technologies in their supply chains and more.

New tool for up-to-date global insights on vaccines

We've launched a new tool to help you understand the latest insights and global factors affecting vaccines, informed by the views of a wide range of experts from the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network and curated in partnership with Heidi Larson, Founding Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project and Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Image: World Economic Forum

Vaccines are the most effective means to prevent infectious diseases and their complications. Over the past few decades, morbidity and mortality attributable to vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, mumps and polio have dramatically declined as immunization coverage increased - especially in countries with routine vaccination programs. However, global vaccine uptake has stagnated, as misinformation and anti-vaccination propaganda have become widespread. While healthcare professionals remain the most trusted sources of related information, a growing number of people are being influenced by biased news sources and social media. Now, as the world looks ahead to a potential COVID-19 vaccine, technology giants are under pressure to remove harmful distortions and inaccuracies from their platforms.

Check out our strategic intelligence tool for the latest publications, videos, data, events and experts on vaccines and other topics.

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