Yunus Social Enterprise and the Schwab Basis for Social Entrepreneurship associate to assist social intrapreneurs of their quest to remodel companies


The organization Yunus Social Business of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus, together with partners from the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship of the World Economic Forum and the Porticus Foundation, has set up an ambitious platform to bring corporate social intrapreneurs together in order to learn from each other and framework. It’s called the Unusual Pioneers.

The unusual pioneer cohort 2021

The social intrapreneurs change companies from within

The social intrapreneurs change companies from within

BERLIN, June 9th, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – With the company’s resources, expertise and assets, committed employees develop solutions for social and ecological problems – with a business model at the center. These “social intrapreneurs” take on an entrepreneurial role in their company and, with the blessing of the CEO, set up social businesses that are 100 percent oriented towards solving a social problem and reinvesting profits. The Unusual Pioneers is a platform that was created exclusively to support these social intrapreneurs.

“Big companies are finally feeling the pressure to do better for the societies they serve. But it’s a movement that comes from their employees. We started researching these emerging social intrapreneurs and found that the most important thing we can offer them is a platform to network with each other. When you’re doing something against the grain, it’s so important to know that there are others like you, ”said Saskia Bruysten, CEO & Co-Founder of Yunus Social Business.

“Citizens, activists and young people are crying out for strong action that will require complex changes within companies. We have seen this call answered by a dedicated group of social innovators who acted as internal agents of change. These social intrapreneurs develop new products, services and business models that create lasting value for society as well as their companies, while at the same time striving for the internal changes that are necessary to realize stakeholder capitalism “, said François Bonnici, Head of Social Innovation at the World Economic Forum and Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

The story goes on

The cohort of Unusual Pioneers is guided through an extensive curriculum, peer-to-peer exchange and mentoring to implement their initiatives with the help of partner organizations such as Acumen, Impact Hub, the UNDP Business Call to Action, Fundaçao Dom Cabral, League of Intrapreneurs to scale, Craigberoch Business Decelerator and many more. Check out the entire cohort of Corporate Social Intrapreneurs announced today at Global Intrapreneur Week by Prof. Muhammad Yunus:

Cristina Campos placeholder image, Integrated Access Program & Market Leader at Novartis. The initiative works to improve the health of low-income populations and provides access to quality health care and pharmaceuticals in South Asia and Central America.

Ruchika told us, “I work in a company that has the resources, the skills, the talent and the ideas. If we don’t work to solve these challenges and play a meaningful role, who will? ”

Wattez-Richards Guarantee is CEO of AXA Emerging Customers, a company she founded offering insurance products to low-income communities. Founded in 2016, it encompasses over 22 million people around the world including migrants, small retailers, small farmers, gig economy workers, etc.

Agnes Weil – Club Med Social Impact Director. Club Med buys from local farmers who live near their resorts, helping to reduce poverty and protect the local environment. You already work in six countries and have been recognized as best practice by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

The cohort also includes:

  • Gisela Sanchez, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FIFCO.

  • Cristina Campos, Integrated Access Program & Market Lead at Novartis.

  • Lisa Neuberger, Managing Director, Strategy & Innovation at Accenture.

  • Benoit Bonello, Director of Social Innovation at Suez.

  • Juddy Gichuki, Senior Manager, Corporate Strategy at Safaricom.

  • Saad Arshad, Senior Manager Program & Research at HBL Habib Bank.

  • Saulo Di Pizzo, Head of Social Innovation & Community Engagement at Givaudan.

  • Sharda Gautam, Head Crafts at Tata Trusts.

  • Ritesh Agarwal, Senior Manager, Growth & Partnerships in Education Initiatives.

  • Nicola Galombik, Executive Director at Yellowwoods Ventures Investments

  • Salah Goss, Senior Vice President, Global Markets Humanitarian & Developmen at Mastercard.

About Yunus Social Business

Yunus Social Business (YSB) believes in the power of business to end poverty, a model developed by our co-founder, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus. YSB has supported or invested in more than 2,000 social entrepreneurs worldwide to build meaningful social enterprises in agriculture, health, education, mobility, clean water and energy. They are also accelerating the transformation of businesses into “people and planet” positive companies by applying their core competencies to some of the greatest human challenges. YSB, founded in 2011, is headquartered in Berlin and is managed by co-founder and CEO Saskia Bruysten. Further information can be found at

About Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, sister organization of the World Economic Forum, is a leading global platform promoting outstanding models of social innovation. Every year the Schwab Foundation honors outstanding social innovation models in four categories: Corporate Social Intrapreneurship, Social Entrepreneurs, Public Social Intrapreneurs and Social Innovation Thought Leader. The winners accelerate their impact through strong collaboration with the World Economic Forum and its platforms. Founded in 1998 by Professor Klaus Schwab and Hilde Schwab, it is headed by Hilde Schwab and led by Dr. François Bonnici, Director, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship leads millions of people in over 190 countries. Further information can be found at

Media contact for Yunus Social Business
Ruby Frankland
[email protected]
Yunus Social Business

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at