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177, Katherine Milligan, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship | The World’s Largest Network of Late-Stage Social Entrepreneurs
Social Entrepreneur
177, Katherine Milligan, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship | The World’s Largest Network of Late-Stage Social Entrepreneurs
03/07/201728:58
Episode Info

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is the sister organization to the World Economic Forum. They manage the world’s largest network of late-stage social entrepreneurs.

Katherine Milligan says, “I have always been deeply touched by the inequities of the world.” She spent time in the Peace Corp. She lived in a village in Benin without running water or electricity for two years. While there, she saw first-hand how an international shift in the commodity price of cotton had a significant impact on local cotton farmers and their families. “It opened a deep curiosity in me to understand why the conventional ways of delivering solutions to these populations where failing.”

Her curiosity led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Trade and International Development. This was followed by two years as a Research Fellow, traveling the world and interviewing stakeholders from ambassadors and trade representatives to the WTO and farmers. She says that this study gave her an appreciation for how complex problems are. “When you know very little about a problem, it’s very easy to see it in a black and white way and to propose a simplistic solution. When you dig into it and you understand the complexities of it, that’s when you appreciate just how challenging and complex these problems are to solve.”

Katherine’s search for solutions to large, complex global problems led her to the World Economic Forum in 2005. In 2009, she took over the lead role for the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is the sister organization to the World Economic Forum. They manage the world’s largest network of late-stage social entrepreneurs. They elevate the work of late-stage social entrepreneurs on the platform of the World Economic Forum.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was launched in 1998 by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum and his wife Hilde. Their initial goal was to introduce the work of social entrepreneurs on a global stage. At the time, the concept of social entrepreneurship was mostly unknown.

Each year the Schwab Foundation recognizes several social entrepreneurs through a “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” competition. This year they selected 17 social entrepreneurs from 13 organizations. These social entrepreneurs become part of the broader Schwab Foundation community of more than 300 entrepreneurs to exchange expertise and experiences. They are also fully integrated into the World Economic Forum’s events and initiatives, giving them a global presence and visibility.

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Katherine Milligan

“When you get that kind of spotlight and exposure, it changes the dynamics and resources come to you.”

“I’ve always been deeply touched by the inequities in the world.”

“When you know very little about a problem, it’s easy to see it in a black and white way.”

“You have to log those hours.”

“We need a reality check on the problem spaces.”

“Know your strengths.”

“Surround yourself with people who compliment your skills.”

“This is a really challenging path.”

“Understand the role of self-care.”

“If you let the cause consume you, what good are you to the cause?”  

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:

 

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