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3 Asian Businesspeople Awarded 'Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards'

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Three businesspeople were awarded Asia "Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards" Tuesday at the World Economic Forum's annual Summer Davos meeting in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship gave the awards to Philippines's Gemma Bulos for her "A Single Drop for Safe Water" program, Laos' Andy Schroeter for his "Sunlabob Renewable Energy" program and Afghanistan's Sakena Yacoobi for her "Afghan Institute of Learning".

"With Asia driving much of today's economic progress, it is even more important that people are not left behind in the development process. Social entrepreneurship plays a key role in ensuring inclusive growth," said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Andy Schroeter said his company is committed to providing electricity in the remote areas of Laos. Only 58 percent of people in Laos have access to electricity.

"We work in a country where people don't have enough funds. We have to be a commercial company. We have to find new mechanisms to make the renewable energy affordable for people," he said.

The award is designed to share entrepreneurs' approaches to entrepreneurship, which is key to sustainable economic growth across sectors and industries, from renewable energy and education to waste management, health and rural development, according to the foundation.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was launched by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, and his wife Hilde in 2000.

(Xinhua News Agency September 14, 2010)

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