The “Entrepreneurs for the World 2012″ awardees from four continents were revealed at the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s prestigious annual gala ceremony in Lyon, France.
The Forum now its 5th edition with the theme “Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Cultivating Communities to Drive Wealth Creation and Social Justice”, was held from October 24-27.
One of the leading bodies of its kind, the World Entrepreneurship Forum aims to foster sustainable development which combines both social justice and economic growth. This year’s event attracted over 200 participants from 59 countries – business and social entrepreneurs as well as policy makers, experts and academics.
The World Entrepreneurship Forum is the first global think-tank dedicated to entrepreneurs, creators of wealth and social justice.
This year, the Forum conferred the awards on five individuals in recognition of their achievements in their particular fields, and they are:
Entrepreneur – Mo Ibrahim : Anglo-Sudanese. Founder of the African telecommunications giant, Celtel, Mo Ibrahim has now set out to improve the day- to-day lives of over 700 million Africans by encouraging best practice in political leadership and governance across the continent. His first step has been to set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which manages an index ranking the quality of governance in all 53 African countries and a prize awarded to democratically-elected former heads of State who have delivered security, health, education, rights, rule of law and economic development to their constituents.
Social Entrepreneur – Tony Meloto: Filipino. The founder of Gawad Kalinga, a template for enabling volunteers to build integrated, holistic and, perhaps most importantly, sustainable communities in slum areas across the developing world. Initially focused on the Philippines, Gawad Kalinga now works with over 2,000 communities across its original home, Indonesia, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea and has attracted interest as far afield as Latin America and South Africa. Believing that poverty is as much about the loss of human dignity as about scarcity of resources, it seeks to bridge the gap between rich and poor, government and the private sector.
Women Entrepreneur – Aude de Thuin: French. Initially trained as a psychologist, Aude is the founder of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society. An annual event which now embraces over 1,200 delegates, the Women’s Forum is designed to promote the representation of women in all areas of society and greater gender parity in all seats of power. The Women’s Forum has been recognized by the Financial Times as one of the most influential of its kind in the world. In 2011, having built its international reputation, she resigned from the Women’s Forum to found “Osons la France”, conceived to encourage society to resist the current economic gloom and “dare to believe in France”.
Policy maker – Irina Bokova: Bulgarian. The first woman to hold the post of Director General of UNESCO. A former Bulgarian minister for foreign affairs, her contribution to her country’s development has been recognized by The New York Times, which described her as playing an active role in Bulgaria’s transformation to become a European Union member. She plays a key role at UNESCO in transforming education to develop global citizenship.
Young Entrepreneur – Melissa Kushner: American. The founder of Goods-for-Good which helps local communities in Africa to care for more than 67,000 orphans by providing them with the surplus goods of the developed world – so far over 100 tons of children’s clothes, school equipment, toys and other supplies have been distributed. Goods-for-Good also helps to build businesses with community centers which provide vulnerable children with real opportunities to live successful, self-sufficient lives.