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BioRegional UK founders win Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Today, BioRegional’s co-founders are two of five social entrepreneurs being awarded the title of Social Entrepreneur of the Year during the 2011 World Economic Forum on Europe and Central Asia in Vienna, Austria, taking place on 8-9 June. The Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards are being led by Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, following the opening plenary of the forum.

BioRegional’s co-founders Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai will join a group of leading social entrepreneurs from across Europe and will be active participants providing insights on sustainability and social innovation in the discussions under the meeting’s theme Expanding the Frontiers of Innovation. A dedicated session “Ecosystems for Social Innovation” will bring together civil society and the public and private sectors to share experiences and explore potential opportunities to strengthen and replicate successful models throughout Europe and Central Asia.

“Social entrepreneurs are the driving force behind the innovations that improve the quality of life of individuals around the world,” explained Mirjam Schoening, Head of the Schwab Foundation. “While the primary focus of social entrepreneurs is to make a specific change in one area, such as access to education, affordable housing or unemployment, social entrepreneurs’ approach to delivering a social impact, which uses innovative and effective business models and cross-sector collaborations, has inspired change among governments and in the private sector alike. In effect, social entrepreneurs are not only delivering change to their constituents, they are also transforming the way governments and companies serve their constituents.”

Winners working in France, Germany and the United Kingdom are among 19 Social Entrepreneurs taking part in the meeting, providing an on-the-ground perspective to sustainability and social innovation.

The following five winners have been selected as 2011 Social Entrepreneurs in Europe:

Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai – BioRegional – United Kingdom
BioRegional invents and delivers real-life sustainable communities and businesses. This includes partnering in Peabody’s multi-award-winning BedZED eco-village in London where BioRegional has its main base and seven companies including clean tech for the paper industry and local charcoal supplies to national retailers. BioRegional developed the “one planet living” sustainability design and delivery framework out of their practical experience which is now being used by manufacturers, retailers, local authorities and events such as the London 2012 Olympics and in fifty countries around the world. BioRegional has sister organisations or representative offices in North America, China, Greece, Mexico, Australia and South Africa.

Juergen Griesbeck – Streetfootballworld – Germany
Millions of young people around the world are born into a cycle of social injustice with little opportunity to break out. Through the love of football, streetfootballworld brings individuals and organizations together behind a common goal: empowering young people to rise above their circumstances.

Norbert Kunz – iq consult – Germany
Iq consult seeks to lower unemployment, especially in the eastern parts of Germany, by training, mentoring and funding unemployed and disadvantaged people who are looking to become self-employed.

Laurent Laïk – Groupe La Varappe – France
Groupe La Varappe creates jobs in the south of France for people who have been excluded from society. Groupe La Varappe is composed of two main organizations. One is focused on finding temporary employment for people with minimal qualifications. The other organization focuses on three environmental areas: construction and gardening, waste and renewable energies.

About the Schwab Foundation
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was co-founded by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and his wife, Hilde. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has been identifying the world’s leading social entrepreneurs in over 50 countries around the globe. Selected social entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation network participate in World Economic Forum events, thus providing unique opportunities for them to connect with business, political and media leaders.