• The COVID-19 pandemic increases the need for social innovations to help those most vulnerable.
  • Here are six examples of social innovators creating solutions, from communicating facts, offering telehealth services and creating microfinance loans.

Social innovators, disruptors in the service of others in situations where traditional actors or the market have failed, are needed more than ever in the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true as the health and economic impacts hit the excluded, vulnerable and those in the informal economy the hardest.

From creating biometric identification systems to developing innovative ways to deliver microfinance loans, here are six innovative ways Schwab Foundation social innovators are addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the World Economic Forum doing to champion social innovation?

Innovative social entrepreneurs are addressing the world’s most serious challenges ranging from illiteracy to girls’ education and disaster relief. To achieve maximum impact and start to address root causes, they need greater visibility, credibility, access to finance, favourable policy decisions, and in some cases a better understanding of global affairs.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is supporting more than 350 late-stage social entrepreneurs. By providing an unparalleled global platform, the Foundation’s goal is to highlight and expand innovative models of social innovation. It helps strengthen and grow the field of social enterprise by showcasing best-in-class examples, models for replication and cutting-edge research on social innovation.

Our global network of experts, partner institutions, and World Economic Forum constituents and business members are invited to nominate outstanding social entrepreneurs. Get in touch to become a member or partner of the World Economic Forum.

1. Making facts easily accessible

Fundación Capital in Colombia is a social enterprise that works to improve the financial lives of people living in poverty around the world. It designs and delivers solutions that make families more economically resilient, working with governments and financial institutions to co-create economic and productive opportunities. Leveraging digital technologies, research, and a growing network of stakeholders, it works to improve systems and change lives.

Fundación Capital has realigned its chatbots and virtual assistants to provide assistance and information to the most vulnerable population on official government information; crisis management; practical advice and preventive measures in physical and psychological health: and financial resilience – managing finances in times of crisis.

2. Developing telehealth services

AlTibbi is a digital-health platform in the Middle East and North Africa region, that aims to present reliable, up-to-date and simplified medical information to users in the region in Arabic. The website features thousands of medical articles, a medical glossary, a section that is dedicated to questions and answers, the latest news in medicine, telehealth services and consultations with certified doctors.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and sponsored by Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Altibi has launched a Corona dedicated hotline that is accessible to all Jordanians. By dialing 111, users can get connected to certified doctors. If a person is experiencing flu-like symptoms or has general concerns, they can obtain a medical assessment from the comfort of their own home without putting themselves or others at risk.

Read the rest of François Bonnici’s article here at The European Sting