Johannesburg is to host the fourth Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF), taking place between 5 and 7 April 2011 at the University of Johannesburg, through its Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Social Economy (CSESE) in the Faculty of Management. It’s the first time this event is being held in Africa.
Social enterprises offer a sustainable and viable model to achieve the outcomes of poverty eradication and social development due to its non-dependency on grant funding. Using innovative and replicable business models, social entrepreneurs are able to create impact on a larger scale.
Dr Susan Steinman, head of the CSESE and a member of the International Steering Committee of the SEWF and convenor for the SEWF 2011 conference, says the theme for this year’s Forum will be Social Enterprise as a catalyst for sustainable development.
The conference will bring together more than 600 social entrepreneurs, development practitioners, and government and corporate representatives from around the world to examine the potential of social enterprise to generate social change and build sustainable communities. The Forum is very practically-based and delegates will be provided with resources and tools that can be applied immediately.
A range of dynamic speakers will be presenting at the conference. National speakers include Minister Ebrahim Patel, Dr Mamphela Ramphele, and Jay Naidoo will deliver keynote addresses. International speakers include social enterprise stalwarts like Liza Nitze (US), Gerry Higgins (UK), David Lepage (Canada) and Ethel Cote (Canada), while Kevin Lynch (Mission Incorporated) and Jerr Boschee (SE Institute, US) will also be presenting.
“The intention is to have a 'how to' approach that covers topics such as sustainability, performance and social impact,” says Steinman. “Our hope is that the Forum will enhance the understanding of the emerging field of social enterprise, with its primary purpose to address the social, environmental and economic challenges of our time.”