Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

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The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship provides platforms at the country, regional and global levels to promote social entrepreneurship. The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 1998. Its purpose is to "advance social entrepreneurship and to foster social entrepreneurs as an important catalyst for societal innovation and progress."[1] The Foundation is under the legal supervision of the Swiss Federal Government. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. Each year the Foundation selects 20-25 Social Entrepreneurs through a global “ Social Entrepreneur of the Year” competition.


Hilde Schwab at the WEF Social Entrepreneurs Wrap-up in 2018

In 1998, Klaus and Hilde Schwab decided to create the independent not-for-profit Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.[2] Its mission was to promote social innovation. It was a complementary foundation to the World Economic Forum[3] which Klaus Schwab had founded in 1971.[2]

Pamela Hartigan, who joined in October 2000, was its first managing director. The Foundation is financed from the initial endowment provided by Klaus and Hilde Schwab plus grants and fees for services provided to individuals, foundations or companies.


The Foundation identifies rising social entrepreneurs under the age of 40 through its Forum of Young Global Leaders. The Foundation encourages the activists it identifies to work together as a team. This way ideas are shared and can attract funding from companies, Harvard and Stanford Universities, INSEAD and the support of leaders. providing backing from corporations and political, academic and communication leaders. The chosen people (260 people in 2013) serve on the Forum’s Global Agenda Councils. Case studies on specific social entrepreneurs are provided to leading academic institutions to incorporate into undergraduate and graduate level courses.[1] Each year the Foundation selects 20-25 Social Entrepreneurs through a global “ Social Entrepreneur of the Year” competition.

Foundation Board[edit]

As of January 2015, the Foundation Board[4] consisted of:


  1. ^ a b Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship "About us." Retrieved: 2013-08-06.
  2. ^ a b John Elkington; Pamela Hartigan (5 February 2008). The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World. Harvard Business Press. ISBN 978-1-4221-6354-2.
  3. ^ Forum, World Economic (2019-07-26). "This is what is still holding social entrepreneurs back". The European Sting - Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology - Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  4. ^ The Schwab Foundation Board

External links[edit]