Following the good news that MYC4’s CEO and co-founder, Mads Kjær, has been acknowledged as one of the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2013, Mads’ immediate response was that he was “extremely honored to be among the winners of this award”. He went on to say that “the award belongs to our team in MYC4, the investors, MFI Providers and the African micro- and small business entrepreneurs who change lives every day. One step at a time.”
We decided to have a little chat with Mads to get some more of his thoughts on what it means to be a Schwab Social Entrepreneur.
So Mads, can you maybe start by telling us a little about the Schwab Foundation?
Among other things, it’s a global community for accomplished social entrepreneurs who meet via the foundation’s events, and also the foundation can introduce the entrepreneurs to its network of global companies and people in leadership positions. The foundation works closely with its sister organization, World Economic Forum (WEF), where the annual meeting in Davos during January is well known.
What do you think will be the pros and cons of being one of the winners?
I can only see pros in joining the global community of the Schwab Foundation, and for us having the opportunity to present MYC4 to people and organizations that can help us boost the outreach to cover millions of entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses and lives in the developing world.
What can you and MYC4 bring to the table at the coming events?
Financial inclusion and the fight to end poverty is always on the agenda of the World Economic Forum and we have in all modesty developed a very transparent platform and business model that can be used to be part of the solutions in this aspect.
How do you think this award will benefit MYC4?
We will benefit in many ways; the winners have access to the meetings of the World Economic Forum and are provided with an unparalleled platform to engage and connect with government, corporate, intellectual and media leaders. In addition, the Schwab Foundation seeks to help us showcase our innovative, market-based model in both private and public programming of the World Economic Forum, thus directly facilitating important opportunities for partnerships and business growth.
Why do you think social innovation is more relevant today than ever before?
Social innovation can be realized by any one. Social innovation creates positive and radical transformation. Social innovation has a powerful and lasting effect. Social innovation is scalable. With this at hand, developing new, sustainable solutions for the promotion of human living conditions is mandatory in order to give 7 billion people across the globe an equal opportunity to realize their full potential.
Do you have any advice or message that you would share with budding social entrepreneurs?
If you can imagine it, why not build it? Find great people to team up with and do not be scared to share your vision and progress with others. Together we can make it a greater world… bit by bit.