SCHWAB FOUNDATION HONOURS 4 AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS

Aleke Dondo of Juhudi Kilimo, Juliana Rotich of Ushahidi, Olivia Van Rooyen of the Kuyasa Fund and Evans Wadongo of Sustainable Development for All – will be bestowed the prestigious honour and title of Social Entrepreneur of the Year. The award ceremony shall take place between the 4th and 6th of May in Cape Town at the World Economic Forum.
The reason these specific entrepreneurs have been selected for this celebrated award is because of the immense impact their innovative businesses have had on their respective communities. 

Firstly Aleke Dondo, aka the grandfather of microfinance in East Africa, founded Juhidi Kilimo which focuses on offering essential asset and life insurance to the borrower at the smallest cost possible. Their main clients are women who support their families through the business of agriculture; which is the primary source of employment for 60-75% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa. It goes without saying, the client base needs the product that Juhidi Kilimo are selling. 

Secondly Juliana Rotisch of Ushahidi, (who has been featured in the Inspire Afrika Magazine,) has a business aims to democratize information which in turn increases transparency and decreases the barriers for communities as well as individuals to share their stories and experiences no matter the content. This has been extremely useful in her home country of Kenya, one of the most infamous countries in relation to silencing people on issues such as corruption and election rigging. 

Olivia Van Rooyen of Kuyasa Fund in South Africa is centred on supplying demand-led, short-term loans to assist with the costs of incremental building; as well as providing an avenue for the poor to build social and financial capital through investment in the housing sector. 

Lastly but certainly not least is Evans Wadongo of Sustainable Development for All (SDfA), through his business Wadongo is lighting up Kenya. SDfA’s lanterns are from scrap metal and other materials which are easily accessible and easy to assemble. Benefactors of these lanterns are all of the school children who need light to study at night.

“Social entrepreneurs are the driving force behind the innovations that improve the quality of life of individuals around the world. While the primary focus of social entrepreneurs is to make a specific change in one area, such as access to finance or affordable housing, social entrepreneurs’ approach to delivering social impact, which utilizes innovative and effective business models and cross-sector collaborations, has inspired change among governments and private sector alike. In effect, social entrepreneurs are not only delivering change to communities, they are transforming the way governments and companies serve their constituents as well. Explains Mirjam Schoening, Head of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in the official press statement of the event. We could not have said it better ourselves. To the awardees, a big congratulations!!

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