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Martin Burt  

Executive Director, Fundacíon Paraguaya

Martin Burt is Founder and CEO of Fundación Paraguaya, a 26-year old NGO devoted to designing worldwide social innovations to the eliminate poverty through  entrepreneurship and self-reliance. Fundación Paraguaya operates from offices in Paraguay, Tanzania, and the US.

He is a pioneer in applying microfinance, microfranchise, youth entrepreneurship, and financial literacy methodologies to address chronic poverty. He has also developed one of the world’s first financially self-sufficient agricultural schools for the rural poor. He is co-founder of Teach a Man to Fish, a global network based in London (2,000 members -125 countries) that promotes “education that pays for itself” and which is partnering with more than 65 organizations from 31 countries to establish self-sufficient schools, mostly in rural areas. He participates in the Education Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum and is a university professor of Social Entrepreneurship in the US and Africa.

He is a pioneer in environmental protection in Paraguay, having co-founded the Bertoni Nature Conservancy and the Mbaracayu Forest Reserve Foundations, two of the country’s largest nature conservation institutions. He has served as Vice Minister of Commerce, and was elected Mayor of Asunción. Burt has received the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award, the Microfinance Award from the Inter-American Development Bank, the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award from the Schwab Foundation, the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur Award, the Ashoka Changemakers Award, the Oikocredit Award, the Templeton Freedom Award, and the distinguished alumni Award from the George Washington University and University of the Pacific.

He is an Avina Foundation leader and a Synergos and Eisenhower Fellow. Burt has been awarded the UNESCO Orbis Guaraniticus Medal and the Inter American Development Bank and UNESCO Best Practice Award. He serves as a Board Member for Junior Achievement Worldwide. Mr. Burt has books published on economics, development, municipal government, poetry, and education.

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