Africa’s social entrepreneurs are today’s change agents in society

As the 2016 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year Awards for Africa were announced in Kigali, Rwanda last week, with eight of the fourteen winners being women, the power of social entrepreneurship to drive real and lasting positive change was acknowledged to the full. Rwanda’s First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, speaking at the event said social entrepreneurship can be one of Africa's most befitting avenues for economic transformation of the continent. Social entrepreneurs, similar to business entrepreneurs, build sustainable organisations that are either set up as non-profit or for-profit social enterprises, aimed at driving social innovation and transformation in various fields, including education, health, environment and enterprise development. They pursue poverty alleviation goals with entrepreneurial zeal, harnessing innovative business methods, and demonstrating the courage to try new approaches in order to find solutions to key challenges. "We live in a world where wealth disparities are still very evident, and as such, one can see the importance of cultivating a spirit of solidarity and care for the less fortunate...Whatever the means used by their organisations for this purpose, be it new technologies to provide wider access to jobs, innovative solutions to energy challenges, or tools that support literacy... these special entrepreneurs have in common a strong desire to change things for the best, around them," the First Lady added. We couldn’t agree more!