It is with great pleasure that we celebrate the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2013.

Now that the terms social entrepreneurship and social innovation are well known, it is easy to forget that even a few short years ago they were virtually unheard of. For decades and in relative obscurity, social entrepreneurs have been doing the hard work of building trust with the poor, finding solutions to their problems and creating entire business models and organizations that take their needs into account.

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This approach to development and partnership, rooted in local contexts and local realities rather than imposed from above, is needed now more than ever. This is what social entrepreneurs bring to the world.

Congratulations to the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2013 for your impressive achievements to date. I invite everyone to discover these outstanding leaders, to be inspired by their  impactful initiative and to learn more about how they apply innovative, practical approaches to resolve social and environmental challenges.

Author: Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship