The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in partnership with Ernst & Young announced the
finalists for the Social Entrepreneur Awards South Africa 2007 last week. These awards acknowledge the positive impact of their efforts on South Africa through a focus on social change, innovation and sustainability.
South African social entrepreneurs are exceptional individuals who implement practical and sustainable solutions to tackle the challenges faced by South Africa today - for example in health, education, economic empowerment and the environment. They embrace business principles, setting up for profit and not-for-profit organisations that generate revenues and achieve fundamental social change.
This year's finalists in the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur Awards are:
TAFFY ADLER, Johannesburg Housing Company: Changing the face of downtown Johannesburg by turning degraded buildings into safe, quality and affordable housing. The company's 24 buildings offer a home to more than 8 500 people.
HELEN LIEBERMAN and SIPHO PUWANI, Ikamva Labantu: Founded 45 years ago, this organisation functions as a development catalyst for community-based social service programmes in South Africa. Its primary focuses are primary health interventions, education and skills development, food security and enterprise development and access to land and buildings.
CEDRIC BUFFLER, Trident Institute's Micro-MBA: This programme has helped create or improve more than 160 000 small businesses since 1991. It has trained more than 4 800 mentors who represent 350 organisations. Trident also established the Informal Business Training Trust to provide donors with the opportunity to fund those who could not afford the courses.
NATALIE KILLASSY, Stitch Wise: Producer of protective wear to help prevent disabling injuries in the mines. The majority of employees are paraplegics who produce equipment that will ensure their colleagues underground are protected from similar injury. The backfill products and protective wear are internationally recognised.
The winner will be announced in November 2007.