At a ceremony held at the Durban International Convention Centre, chairperson and co-founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Hilde Schwab, handed out awards to Sonkita Conteh, Keller Rinaudo and Dale Lewis.
Schwab said: “Poverty remains high on the agenda and all the social entrepreneurs step in to fill the gaps in service delivery and social programmes to low income communities. They do this through their innovative business models in areas such as health, breaches in technology and financial services.”
Award recipient, Sonkita Conteh was honoured for his organisation, Namati, in Sierra Leone that trains and supports local paralegals to assist millions of people worldwide that live outside the reach of legal assistance.
Conteh has helped over fifty thousand people in eight countries.
Keller Rinaudo was honoured for his project which entailed drones delivering medicine to rural areas in Rwanda.
The drones negate the need for lengthy road trips or expensive airplane deliveries and are to fly at 100 kilometres per hour, before dropping the parcel of medicine at a dedicated drop-off point using a small parachute. His idea has helped 20 hospitals and health centres.
Fellow award winner, Dale Lewis, has an organisation in Zambia called Comaco which has eradicated poaching by educating farmers and giving them access to premium markets.
Comaco has registered 140,000 farmers to commit themselves to conservation farming and wildlife preservation.
Schwab thanked their South African partners, the Motsepe Foundation, for their support and contribution to the social entrepreneurship initiative.
“There has been a lot of talk that we have to develop new narratives or positive narratives and these social entrepreneurs have exceptional stories to tell,” Schwab added.