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Business & Economy

Friday, 15 June 2007 10:55

Finalists Announced For Social Entrepreneur Awards South Africa 2007

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{pp}The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in partnership with Ernst & Young is pleased to announce the finalists for the Social Entrepreneur Awards South Africa 2007, acknowledging the positive impact of their efforts on South Africa through a focus on social change, innovation and sustainability.

South African social entrepreneurs are exceptional individuals who implement practical and sustainable solutions to tackle the challenges faced by South Africa today - for example in health, education, economic empowerment and the environment. They embrace business principles, setting up for profit and not-for-profit organisations that generate revenues and achieve fundamental social change.

The First Lady of South Africa, Mrs Zanele Mbeki, who has been an active Board Member of the Schwab Foundation since its inception, will recognise the achievements of the finalists during the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

The Schwab Foundation’s Dr. François Bonnici said “The finalists are change agents in the social sector. Their success is measured not by profit but to the extent they generate social value. Their dynamism and energy have allowed them to find new solutions which are critically needed to improve South Africa’s problem solving capacity on key issues such as skill development and service delivery.”

The finalists are:

Cedric Buffler, Trident Institute
Cedric Buffler’s Trident Institute offers the Micro-MBA programme which has helped to create or improve over 160 000 small businesses since 1991. To date Trident has trained over 4800 Trainer - Mentors, representing some 350 organisations. Recognising the challenge of funding for education, Trident also established the Micro-MBA Bursary (Scholarship) Fund, to provide an avenue to donors to provide funding for people who could not afford to attend the courses to have full access. Link: http://www.micro-mba.com

Helen Lieberman and Sipho Puwani, Ikamva Labantu
Helen Lieberman and Sipho Puwani are the driving force behind Ikamva Labantu which was celebrates 45 years of existence this year. Ikamva Labantu functions as a development catalyst for community-based social service programmes in South Africa. Working in partnership with the community, Ikamva Labantu (which means ‘The Future of Our Nation) strives to improve the quality of life for South Africa’s underprivileged communities by providing a holistic approach to capacity building, social development and other services. Today, its primary focus falls on four main areas of social development: health (focusing on primary health interventions); education and skills development; food security and enterprise development; access to land and buildings. Link: http://www.ikamva.com

Nathalie Killassy, Stitch Wise
Natalie Killassy’s Stitch Wise is an internationally recognised producer of backfill products and a broad range of protective wear with registered patents and innovative ranges. The company had its beginnings when Killassy, noting the prevalence of disabling injuries in mineworkers, sought to design equipment which would enhance underground support, and personal protective equipment that would help prevent these injuries. The majority of employees are paraplegics who – having suffered disabling injuries underground – are employed by the company to produce equipment that will ensure that their colleagues underground are protected from similar injury. Link: http://www.stitchwise.co.za

Taffy Adler, Johannesburg Housing Company
Taffy Adler is changing the face of downtown Johannesburg and reversing the apartheid city while providing safe, affordable and comfortable housing. His organisation, Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC), is refurbishing occupied buildings and constructing new ones in the inner city; its 24 buildings, offer a home to more than 8500 people. Focusing on long term maintenance and sustainability while working with the communities around the buildings and mobilising commercial funding for social housing, JHC delivers housing with sensitivity to social and economic realities. Link: http://www.jhc.co.za

The winner will be selected on 15 November 2007 and will gain access to the Meetings of the World Economic Forum as well as the Schwab Foundation’s global network providing unprecedented opportunities to engage global decision takers from the public, corporate, media and academic sectors to strengthen and expand their models. The jury members choosing the winner will include Professor Gill Marcus, Gordon Institute of Business Studies and future Chairperson of ABSA Bank; Garth Japhet, Founder of Soul City and other prominent leaders.

Candidates interested for the “Social Entrepreneur Awards South Africa 2008” can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Further information on the Schwab Foundation’s international network of social entrepreneurs can be found at http://www.schwabfound.org.

THE SCHWAB FOUNDATION FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP identifies, selects and provides recognition for the most outstanding social entrepreneurs around the world whose work has significantly improved people’s lives. It builds a strong fellowship among them. The Foundation provides a global platform where currently 115 social entrepreneurs from 40 different countries promote social entrepreneurship as a key element to advance societies and address social problems in an innovative and effective manner.

Founded by Klaus and Hilde Schwab in 1998, the Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to the Founders, its Board Members include Paulo Coelho (Brazil), Quincy Jones (USA), Zanele Mbeki (South Africa), David Gergen (United States), Stephen Brenninkmeijer (Germany), Lord David Puttnam (UK), and Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh). Pamela Hartigan is the Foundation’s Managing Director.

Further information on the social entrepreneurs can be found at http://www.schwabfound.org

Contact Details:
World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town
François Bonnici (Schwab Foundation): Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Mobile: +27 82 379 5730
Pamela Christie (Ernst & Young): Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Mobile: +27 83 415 7175

Photos of the finalists can be downloaded free of charge from the following site: http://www.pbase.com/forumweb/Africa07

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