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The Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) is a platform for social entrepreneurs around the globe to share best practice and collaborate on the current topics impacting social enterprise development.

Since the inaugural forum was first hosted by Scotland in 2008, this annual event has since been held in Australia, USA, South Africa, Brazil and Canada. Seoul is hosting the 7th forum this year and will be the first Asian city to do so, which makes this event historic and significant for our country.

Social enterprise provides new, alternative solutions to social problems such as unemployment, social polarization and environmental issues.

With the theme ‘Social Change through Social Enterprise’, this year’s forum will discuss how social innovation, social inclusion and social investment act as enablers to empower social enterprises to be the driving force behind positive social change.

We are committed to using this platform to identify positive ways to foster and harness international collaboration to promote the social enterprise movement worldwide.

We look forward to welcoming all those who actively participate or support social enterprise and working for the sustainable prosperity of humankind.


There has been a great acceleration in our understanding of the major challenges that we collectively face.

Inequality, food and energy security, unemployment, climate change, migration, a growing yet ageing global population, financial instability are just some of the challenges that we are yet to partially or fully resolve.

Where once citizens looked to Governments to solve national and international problems, we now recognize that Governments alone cannot reconcile these vast challenges; businesses and citizens must have a role to play if we are to succeed.

Social enterprise is not a new concept, however it's an idea whose time has come. We are seeing rapid acceptance that social enterprise has an important role to play in evolving and shaping our future economic systems and delivering social value and ecological sustainability. Collectively the sector continues to demonstrate impressive growth and attract the brightest and most passionate talent. Social enterprise as a business model is achieving success and support throughout the world. A new generation of entrepreneurs are opting to build businesses that are not just dynamic and profitable but that are also socially mindful and positively impactful.

Social enterprises are emerging in just about every part of industry and every part of the world, they are proving that doing what's right by staff, the communities within which they operate and the natural environment is an asset to their businesses rather than a costly burden. The most forward thinking Companies are supporting this social enterprise revolution - understanding that this dynamic sector creates new business opportunities within new and emerging markets, investment opportunities, partnerships and innovation.

Korea has been driving the social enterprise agenda forwards with incredible energy over recent years. It is fitting that the social enterprise world forum, now in its 7th year takes place in the modern and dynamic city of Seoul. On behalf of the organizing committee I thank the Work Together foundation for being such fantastic hosts. We also thank the government and the people of Korea, the sponsors who have supported the event and the delegates, speakers, facilitators and contributors who have travelled from across the world to make our event the success that we are sure it will be.

We are delighted and honored to be here in the fine city of Seoul.
We hope you have a fantastic conference and thank you all for supporting this important movement.