Easy Solar from Sierra Leone was chosen by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to receive the Schwab Foundation Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award last week. Easy Solar, an energy startup in Sierra Leone, was recognized as a leader of global social innovation for 2019 along with 19 others across the world. In just three years since it launched, Easy Solar has hired over 500 and made electricity accessible and affordable for more than 200,000 Sierra Leoneans.
Easy Solar was founded in 2016 by Alex Tourre, Nthabi Mosia and Eric Silverman. These innovative leaders will join a global network of 350 outstanding companies from more than 70 countries worldwide that make up the Schwab Foundation Community. The trio will participate in WEF meetings and initiatives. “We are proof that socially responsible businesses are not only possible in Sierra Leone, but also viable,” said Nthabi Mosia, who is the Chief Customer Experience Officer at Easy Solar. The Easy Solar team will engage in peer-to-peer exchanges with fellow social entrepreneurs and make contributions to global, regional, and industry agendas in close collaboration with other stakeholders of the World Economic Forum for three years.
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“We hope that this award will benefit the Sierra Leonean innovation ecosystem as a whole, and attract new investors, partners and global leaders to work with innovative entrepreneurs in the country, as they are critical change agents for development,” said Alex Tourre, CEO. Schwab Foundation board members selected the awardees in recognition of their innovative approaches and potential for global impact. “Social entrepreneurs are no longer working in isolation – the Schwab Foundation recognizes the champions of social innovation in the social sector, but also in business, government, and academia. We see social innovation as an ecosystem of pioneering actors with a common purpose,” said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder, and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. For more than 20 years, the Schwab Foundation has recognized social entrepreneurs as a new breed of leader – values-driven, inclusive, compassionate and entrepreneurial, developing new sustainable models for business, human development and environmental initiatives – and embedded them in the platforms of the World Economic Forum. Now in its third decade, the Schwab Foundation has introduced three new award categories along with the established category of Social Entrepreneur of the Year: Public Social Entrepreneur, Corporate Social Entrepreneur, and Social Innovation Thought Leader. These new categories recognize and support an ecosystem of social innovation to accelerate the world’s collective progress.
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