March 15, AUC School of Business Center for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Ashoka, held The Arab World Social Innovation Forum (AWSIF), the region’s premier platform for gathering an international community of social entrepreneurs and accelerating the local-to-global and global-to-local movement for social change at the AUC New Cairo Campus.
Leveraging Ashoka’s position as the world’s largest platform for social entrepreneurs, the forum convened over 400 attendees from the region and around the globe, including however not constrained to: distinguished social entrepreneurs, pioneers in the business and corporate sectors, policymakers, and thought leaders.
Influential government and business leaders came together, including H.E Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, H.E Hala El-Said, Egypt’s Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform, H.E Aurelia Frick, Liechtenstein’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Culture, Caroline Faraj, Vice President of Arabic Services at CNN, and Mariam Farag, Head of Corporate Sustainability at MBC Group, to name a few.
The forum primary objectives included ideas exchange, where a global exchange of theories of social change from the Global North and Global South are inputted by participants, as well as establishing a high-level international forum on social entrepreneurship in the region.
The event hosted a series of twenty interactive sessions and two main panels, the first discussing scaling innovation across boundaries from local to global and global to local, and the second discussing mainstreaming and measuring impact investment.
Furthermore, the forum witnessed launch of the Women’s Initiative for Social Entrepreneurship (WISE), a global initiative that will identify and address the gender-specific challenges faced by women social entrepreneurs and reframe the meaning of success in social impact from a general viewpoint. The forum devoted a breakout session for women Ashoka Fellows to share their accounts of impact and reflect on their gendered experiences in the social entrepreneurship environment.
Social entrepreneurship has evolved and matured in recent years, and its significance will keep on progressing. This is why this joint effort with Ashoka falls within the School’s responsibility to keep up with entrepreneurship practices and develop incremental awareness on present-day subjects within the Arab region and globally.