Dead Sea, Jordan, 22 May 2015 – Amina Slaoui, the inspirational founder of Groupe AMH in Morocco has been named one of three social entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa to be recognized by the Schwab Foundation as a 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awardees for MENA. The awards were conferred by Hilde Schwab, co-founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, at the meeting’s opening plenary in the presence of his Majesty Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, her Majesty Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, presidents and other distinguished guests from the MENA region and beyond.
The three people to be honoured as 2015 Social Entrepreneur Awardees were Amina Slaoui of Groupe AMH (Morocco); Maysoun Odeh Gangat of NISAA Radio Broadcasting (Palestine); and Pierre Issa of Arc en Ciel (Lebanon). The awardees will become part of the broader Schwab Foundation community of Social Entrepreneurs, which includes more than 300 outstanding social entrepreneurs from 60 countries. Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs are fully integrated into the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum. They contribute actively to and benefit from peer-to-peer exchanges with other social entrepreneurs, as well as interactions with top leaders in business, government, civil society and the media
The inspirational Amina Slaoui was recognised for her assistance to disabled people in Morocco through high social impact enterprise, Groupe AMH. Amina, a mother of four, was a successful communications executive when a tragic accident left her wheelchair bound. Due to her financial means, she was able to seek excellent care and physiotherapy abroad, but when she returned to Morocco she was distraught by the lack of care for Moroccans who suffered similar circumstances but did not have comparable means. This inspired her to create the Groupe AMH, for which she has received many awards including the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2006. She also sits on the boards of several associations fighting for the human rights.
Today, Groupe AMH provides care for 1,400 patients, including physiotherapy, speech, occupational therapy and psychotherapy. It also fits prostheses and wheelchairs at up to an 80% discount for low-income patients. Groupe AMH now runs six ongoing projects and companies, with 200 employees and 25,000 beneficiaries. They provide an invaluable service in Morocco where there is very little government assistance for people living with disabilities. Almost 10% of the population is physically impaired, whilst 78% of those of working age that are disabled are unemployed. Moreover, until the creation of the Noor Centre in 2001, there was no facility in Morocco where disabled or injured people could seek treatment.
To complement these rehabilitative services, Groupe AMH sells a range of life-enhancing products for people with disabilities. Through social services, the organization facilitates legal and administrative claims of their patients. Through employment services, Groupe AMH helps patients apply for appropriate jobs and works with companies to educate them about managing a disabled workforce, resulting in 30 jobs for handicapped persons per year. Through educational advocacy, Groupe AMH provides tools to public schools to become handicapped accessible, directly resulting in 60 handicapped children returning to education system annually.
Through Groupe AMH’s enterprise services, they are creating revenue-generating enterprises under the Groupe AMH umbrella. For example, Anamil employs four disabled women who produce 300 uniforms a month for surgeons, doctors, and nurses. To address the critical lack of qualified personnel in the re-education sector, Groupe AMH created a Paramedic Training Center, which is to opened its doors in 2015 and is the only professional development institution in Morocco training psychotherapists and nurses specialized in rehabilitation.
Groupe AMH also works to raise public awareness of disability issues through a constant networking strategy with local and international NGO's. Groupe AMH has sizeable expansionplans underway which include opening a second Noor Centre and 5 new rehab centres within the next five years.
About the Award
The Schwab Foundation, co-founded by Klaus and Hilde Schwab in 1998, manages the largest network of late-stage social enterprises in the world: more than 320 organizations with operations in 70 countries.
“The three outstanding social entrepreneurs from MENA we selected this year are designing transformative models to create more inclusive societies,” said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the sister organization of the World Economic Forum. “As businesses and governments alike try to embrace a creative spirit of disruptive innovation and develop business models that generate truly inclusive growth – the hallmarks of any social entrepreneur – social-enterprise models are increasingly understood and respected.”