Social Enterprise World Forum goes to Rio


October 1, 2012


The fifth annual Social Enterprise World Forum will kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 16. This is the first year that a Latin American country will host the two-day conference, which, according to its website, “is the premiere global event focused exclusively on social enterprise and on building global awareness of the effectiveness of social enterprise in solving critical social problems.” Delegates from over 30 countries are expected to participate.

Forum participants will have the option to participate in site visits to social enterprise projects around Rio de Janeiro, including Projeto Rio Ecosol, a project by Rio’s municipal government to promote entrepreneurship and support small businesses in four of the city’s favelas, and the Vale Encantado Cooperative, a grassroots eco-tourism project meant to revitalize and protect Rio’s fragile Tijuca Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Participants are also invited to attend free training workshops and to network with corporate and governmental leaders during an “Investor Day” on October 16. On October 17, Michelle Bachelet—executive director of UN Women and former president of Chile—will present the Women in Social Enterprise (WISE) Award at a special gala celebration. Ms. Bachelet also wrote about the economic empowerment of women in the Summer AQ.

The forum will be headquartered inside the historic Centro Cultural Ação da Cidadania (Citizen Action Cultural Center) in the heart of Rio’s Porto Maravilha, an urban waterfront revitalization project that has begun to transform Rio’s port zone in preparation for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The Centro Cultural Ação da Cidadania is a renovated warehouse originally built in 1871 that now houses cultural events to raise money for programs that fight hunger and poverty.

Since 2008, different social enterprise organizations have hosted the forum in Scotland, Australia, the U.S., South Africa, and now, Brazil. This year’s forum will be hosted by NESst, an international nonprofit organization founded in 1997 that is celebrating its 15th anniversary, and sponsored by the Banco Nacional do Desenvolvimento (National Development Bank – BNDES), the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Brazil, and a variety of other corporations and organizations.



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