Through its partnership with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, BCG is helping to identify the world's most promising social entrepreneurs and give them access to an invaluable business network that will further their causes.
The Schwab Foundation was established in 1998 by World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab and his wife, Hilde. Since 2005, BCG has managed the selection process for some of the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year national competitions—first in Germany and now in several other countries, including France and Switzerland.
The Foundation defines a social entrepreneur as someone who has established a business with a goal of making a social impact. In particular, the competition recognizes those who take unique approaches to solving economic and social problems and rewards their visions by giving them some of the essential tools they will need to make a difference in their chosen areas.
For each year’s competition, the BCG team solicits applications for the award and then interviews the applicants, narrowing down the pool to a small group of finalists. The winner is then selected by a jury, which usually includes high-profile CEOs and other prominent business leaders. The winners are honored at awards ceremonies, which sometimes are held at Forum events such as Davos or in other prestigious locations—including recently in the office of German chancellor Angela Merkel
Christian Hiß, the winner of Germany's 2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year competition, accepts his award from Hilde Schwab and BCG's Christian Veith. Christian founded Regionalwert AG, a firm that invests in agriculture-related businesses with the goal of making them sustainable.
This video (in French) highlights France's Social Entrepreneur of the Year competition, which the BCG Paris office has organized since 2007.