Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe and Hilde Schwab held a press conference at the forum to announce the launch of a million-Swiss-franc partnership (R13,24 million) between the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Motsepe Foundation.

Moloi-Motsepe is the executive chairperson for African Fashion International and deputy chair of the Motsepe Foundation.

The three-year partnership aims to advance the social entrepreneurship agenda in Africa by raising awareness, engaging the media and celebrating proven social innovators, contribute to research initiatives on best practices and scaling strategies, and build the capacity of African social enterprises through peer-to-peer exchanges.

“All over the world, social entrepreneurs are implementing solutions to some of our most intractable social and environmental challenges,” said Schwab.

“The WEF is ideally placed to bring the talent and the passion of social entrepreneurs who have created proven, cost-effective models together with decision-makers in government and corporations who have the resources and infrastructure to take those solutions to scale.

“Given the Motsepe Foundation’s longstanding commitment to entrepreneurship and the economic empowerment of all of South Africa’s citizens, they are an ideal partner to accelerate the potential of social entrepreneurship across the African continent,” said Moloi-Motsepe.

“Social entrepreneurs can make a unique contribution to job creation, poverty alleviation and improving the living conditions and standards of living of poor and marginalized Africans.”

“There is a huge potential in Africa to identify, promote and showcase social entrepreneurs who are doing outstanding work and can inspire the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

“We are committed to working with the Schwab Foundation to develop and promote social entrepreneurship on the African continent,” Moloi-Motsepe said.

Schwab also announced five Africa Social Entrepreneurs of the Year, which included South Africans John Sargent and Ernest Darkoh (BroadReach Healthcare) and Sharanjeet Shan (Maths Centre Incorporating Sciences).

“We want to showcase social entrepreneurs, as they serve as amazing role models,” said Moloi-Motsepe.