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Water For People CEO, Eleanor Allen, Named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of The Year

Global Entrepreneurs Recognized for Work Benefiting Vulnerable Populations

Eleanor Allen

Press Release – DENVER (March 29, 2017) – Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water For People, was honored today as a 2017 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Allen, along with fifteen other international professionals, was chosen by the board of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. The prestigious program acknowledges entrepreneurs’ innovative approaches and potential for impact in solving global social issues.

Allen and Water For People were selected for their ability to create lasting social change by shifting the systems that supply water and sanitation services to be more reliable. Through Water for People’s Everyone Forever impact model, the organization helps promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments.

To achieve this, Water For People partners with local leaders, governments and entrepreneurs to effectively build infrastructure, and create, own and operate their own water and sanitation utilities/service providers. This enables communities to be self-sufficient and accelerates their social progress. The organization currently works in nine countries.

With Allen at the helm, Water For People is working to solve one of the world’s most pervasive challenges, the global water crisis. More than 1.8 billion people around the world lack access to safe water and more than 2.4 billion people lack sanitation services; more than 840,000 people die each year from water-related diseases.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Schwab Foundation and alongside inspiring social entrepreneurs who are working so hard to change the world we live in,” said Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water For People. “Water changes everything. In every community, water lays the foundation for health, education and economic prosperity. Those are the ingredients for social progress.”

Allen looks forward to the opportunity to collaborate with global leaders and further Water For People’s mission to ensure that every person has access to reliable and safe water and sanitation services for generations to come. This year’s Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year honorees join a prestigious network of more than 300 social entrepreneurs from 60 countries.

“Social entrepreneurs are crucial to the global conversation about inclusive growth; they are innovators who use market forces and business discipline to provide solutions for local problems and improve the lives of low-income and marginalized people,” said Katherine Milligan, Head of the Schwab Foundation.

According to the Schwab Foundation, a social entrepreneur is a leader, or organization, that achieves large scale, systemic and sustainable social change through a new invention, a different approach, a more rigorous application of known technologies or strategies, or a combination of these. Social progress is defined as the improvement of social, political and economic structures.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was founded in 1998 by Hilde and Klaus Schwab and is known as the sister organization of the World Economic Forum. Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs are fully integrated into the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum. They contribute to and benefit from peer-to-peer exchanges with other social entrepreneurs as well as interactions with leaders in business, government, civil society and the media.

To learn more about Water For People or the communities it works in, visit waterforpeople.org.

About Water For People

Founded in 1991, Denver, CO based Water For People is a global nonprofit working across 9 countries in Latin America, India, and Africa to achieve lasting quality water and sanitation services. Water For People brings together communities, local entrepreneurs, and governments, to build, operate and maintain their own reliable water and sanitation systems and services.

Currently working in 30 districts with 4 million people, Water For People is growing to deliver services to over 7 million people in 50 districts globally over the next 10 years. Water For People is also working at the national level in Rwanda, Uganda, Bolivia and Honduras. Learn more at WaterForPeople.org.

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