09 April 2009

Ashoka:Innovators for the Public

Founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, Ashoka strives to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world's citizens to think and act as change-makers. The organization envisions a world where Everyone is a change-maker: a world that responds quickly and effectively to social challenges; and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem and drive change.

Their Approach:
To ensure that leading ideas for social changes are fully developed and sustained, Ashoka has designed an approach that offers critical inventions  on three levels- the individual, the groups and the sector.
  • Supporting Social Entrepreneurs: Social entrepreneurs are the engines of social change and role models for the citizen sector. Ashoka identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs and helps them achieve maximum social impact.
  • Promoting Group Entrepreneurship: Groups and networks of social entrepreneurs working together accelerate and spread social impact. Ashoka engages communities of entrepreneurs and develops patterns of effective collaborations that change entire fields.
  • Building Infrastructures for the Sector: A global network of change-makers requires tools and support systems to deliver sustainable social solutions. Ashoka creates needed infrastructure, such as access to social financing, bridges to business and academic sectors, and frameworks for partnerships that deliver social and financial value.
Their Philosophy:  

Ashoka is founded on the premise that the most effective way to promote positive social change is to invest in social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions that are sustainable and replicable, both nationally and globally.

The organization has established programs in over 60 countries and supports the work of over 2000 fellows. Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who Ashoka recognizes to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society. They demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creavity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change. 

Ashoka employ 160 staff in 25 regional offices throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The organization is extremely transparent, providing their financial statements for review on their website. To learn more please visit Ashoka's website.

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