The 2016 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year represents 12 outstanding social entrepreneurs from 11 organisations operating in more than 70 countries that are pioneering solutions for social and environmental challenges, from child labour to women's empowerment to climate change and more.
Who are Social Entrepreneurs?
Social entrepreneurs drive social innovation and transformation in various fields including education, health, environment and enterprise development. They pursue poverty alleviation goals with entrepreneurial zeal, business methods and the courage to innovate and overcome traditional practices. A social entrepreneur, similar to a business entrepreneur, builds strong and sustainable organisations, which are either set up as non-profit or for-profit social enterprises.
Social entrepreneurs are leaders or pragmatic visionaries who:
- Achieves large scale, systemic and sustainable social change through a new invention, a different approach, a more rigorous application of known technologies or strategies, or a combination of these.
- Focuses first and foremost on the social and/or ecological value creation and tries to optimise the financial value creation.
- Innovates by finding a new product, a new service, or a new approach to a social problem.
- Continuously refines and adapts approach in response to feedback.
Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2016 Awardees
Sophi Tranchell of Divine Chocolate (divinechocolate.com)
Divine Chocolate Limited is a pioneer for Fairtrade chocolate, co-owned by the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers' co-operative in Ghana. Thirty-five percent of Kuapa Kokoo’s 80,000+ members are female, and the co-operative collectively produces around 6% of Ghana’s cocoa harvest. Divine pays the world price for the cocoa, with an additional $200 per tonne which is invested by the farmers in their own community development, and distributed as individual bonuses.
In addition, 2% of Divine’s annual turnover is allocated towards producer support and development, and Kuapa Kokoo farmers receive 44% of distributed profits. Divine is widely known for its innovations on the marketing and distribution side. Divine has built partnerships with major retailers such as Waitrose, The Co-op, and Starbucks, selling more than 50 different products in 12 countries.