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  From Chasing The Dragon To Getting Jobs For Former Addicts

By Anthony David,

Are you a social entrepreneur - or do you know one? The competition is open to young entrepreneurs who have founded an enterprise that has a social and/or environmental objective. The only requirement: the enterprise or its services need to be enabled by IT.
What is “social” or “environmental”?

The enterprise offers groups who are at a social disadvantage an opportunity to earn an income, e.g. single moms, jobless youths, handicapped people, former drug addicts, etc.

The enterprise's products or services create a social benefit (i.e. supporting peace efforts or intercultural understanding) or create an environmental impact (i.e. eco-tourism, waste management, recycling) or the enterprise creates specific benefits for target groups that are socially disadvantaged (bank loans for the poor, taxi service for the elderly or handicapped, etc.)

Note that the enterprise needs to be profit-oriented: it needs to be making money somehow.
Here's an example from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (featured in the video link above): Mohd Rustam bin Roshandin (Rustam), 24, initiated, KL Downtown ( which is essentially a shopping Bazaar. However, KL Downtown also has a social twist: it offers jobs through business opportunities to ex- drug addicts from private and government institutions.

As KL Downtown creates opportunities for former drug addicts by enabling them to own their own sales stand or work within the Night Market’s organisation, the former addicts have an active responsibility at night, their most venerable part of the day. The bazaar is also an active support line for those who are in rehabilitation as they are able to support each other by simply checking in on each other. This is a key goal for KL Night Market as it strives to prevent relapse.

Who is behind the competition?
Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) is an international multi-stakeholder network committed to harnessing the power of Knowledge and utilising Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for sustainable and equitable development. With over 100 members, the GKP Network reaches across sectors and continents, to share their experience, ideas and solutions to unleash the potential of knowledge and ICT to improve lives, reduce poverty and empower people. GKP is actively involved in programmes that address development opportunities and challenges within four strategic themes - Access to Knowledge, Education, Poverty Reduction and Resource Mobilisation.

How to apply?
Apply online at:

Application criteria:

Submissions to-date:

9 September 2007

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