The social potential of entrepreneurship is undeniable. In a world in which sustainability, poverty, healthcare, employment and countless other issues are becoming increasingly urgent, entrepreneurs can play a key role in bringing about solutions that truly improve quality of life around the globe.
Last week, the Schwab Foundation honored a group of entrepreneurs who are doing just that. The organization has announced the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2013 – an international list of entrepreneurs who are making positive social and environmental impacts through their work.
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship has been selecting leading social entrepreneurs and models from around the world for over a decade. The 2013 honorees will join a group of over 250 entrepreneurs from nearly 60 countries.
This year, the Schwab Foundation selected 24 entrepreneurs to join the list – three of which hail from Latin America:
Mois Cherem Arana – Mexico
Arana is the CEO of Enova, a company that brings technology-based learning to Mexico’s poorest communities. It has set up a network of educational centers throughout Mexico, where children and adults can participate in e-learning courses. Enova has opened 42 locations, and nearly 15,000 students have graduated from its courses. Arana is an Endeavor entrepreneur.
Cybele Amado de Oliveira – Brazil
Cybele Amado de Oliveira is a mentor and leader at the Chapada Institute of Education and Research (Instituto Chapada de Educação e Pesquisa). The organization improves education by way of training and support for school teachers and administrators, and it fosters cooperation between municipalities. It is estimated that over 75,000 Brazilians have benefited from Amado de Olivera’s work, especially in Bahia and Pernambuco.
Kurt Holle – Peru
Dedicated to conservation and ecotourism, Holle founded Rainforest Expeditions in Peru. The company partners with native communities to lead trips into the Amazon. Not only does it provide tourists with an amazing travel experience, but it also educates them about the region and the importance of preserving the rainforest. Rainforest Expeditions hosts an estimated 15,000 tourists each year.
See the full Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2013 list here.