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News | Basics Needs & Social Entrepreneurship 08.11.2011
Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award goes to CIDG member Sameh Seif Ghali
In October 2011, the Schwab Foundation announced this year's recipients of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Arab world at the World Economic Forum meeting in Jordan. One of the prizewinners is Sameh Seif Ghali – a member of the Community Impact Development Group (CIDG) launched by the Siemens Stiftung and Ashoka. The Egyptian national received the prize for his social enterprise, the Together Association for Development and the Environment (TA).
The Together Association installs low-cost wastewater systems in remote villages in Egypt. Community participation is at the heart of the social enterprise: Systems developed by Sameh Seif Ghali are customized to the needs of households and made from locally available materials. The Together Association also issues microloans to enable more villages to connect their residents to the sewage management network. More than 37,000 residents have already benefited from the project. The jury was impressed by this approach, which impressively fulfilled its criteria of innovation, sustainability, social impact and reach.
Hilde Schwab, chairperson and co-founder of the Schwab Foundation, presented the award. The Foundation's Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award acknowledges the dedication of social entrepreneurs who create innovative ideas and projects that add value to society in their countries.
Supporting these social entrepreneurs is also the mission of the CIDG network launched by the Siemens Stiftung and Ashoka. The network provides a platform for selected social entrepreneurs from Africa and Latin America, many of them also recognized with international prizes, to discuss their experiences and further develop their projects together. Like Sameh Seif Ghali, its members are working to bring about lasting improvements to living conditions in their countries using simple technologies.