Social entrepreneurs have improved about 622 million lives around the world over the past 20 years, a new report released on Friday shows.
The Schwab Foundation Report for Social Entrepreneurship shows how social entrepreneurs can influence at scale, contribute to sustainable development goals and modify the systems in which they operate.
More than $6.7 billion projects and products have been distributed by the social entrepreneur. The report found that these projects have enhanced livelihoods by increasing healthcare access, improving education outcomes and providing clean energy solutions.
It has also alleviated more than 192 million tonnes of carbon dioxide which is equivalent to taking around 40.7 million passenger vehicles off the road for a year.
“This report challenges the notion that models of social innovation can be dismissed as small, isolated islands of success amidst our overwhelming global challenges. Consider the combined capability of all social innovators in the world, those recognised in networks like the Schwab Foundation, and the hundreds of thousands that exist in local communities around the world” said Hilde Schwab, co-founder and chairperson of the Schwab Foundation.
Social entrepreneurs operate in more than 190 countries, with 25 per cent of them reaching at least 90 countries each the report showed. Social entrepreneurs are most active in 10 counties which are of low to middle-income markets, with the exception of the US and six of those are in Africa.
The countries include Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the US.
“Social innovators have pioneered sustainable approaches and inclusive business models, and serve as a clear demonstration that models of stakeholder capitalism can indeed work,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.
He added that having its mission as stakeholders being engaged in the creation of social and economic value, social entrepreneurs have proven how employees, suppliers, customers, local communities and the environment can benefit
The Schwab Foundation was established as a platform for supporting the under-recognised movement of people who were developing innovative business models delivering social or environmental good.