What is Ashoka

Who are we

Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs – individuals with system-changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems.

We are redefining the global citizen sector by creating a system of collaborative entrepreneurship. Connecting the work of individual social entrepreneurs to business, academic and public sector partners, we create a network effect driving the sector forward and developing new solutions to global problems.

To date, we have elected over 3000 social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, in 72 countries in five continents. Across Canada, we have elected 48 Fellows since 2002. By working with our network, we have identified the key principles of transformation. We are working with business entrepreneurs, corporations, government agencies and universities to create a new reality.

Here is a summary of Ashoka’s Programs in Canada. To learn more, please visit the Programs section.

Ashoka’s Venture & Fellowship program identifies and elects leading social entrepreneurs into our global Ashoka Fellowship network and provides strategic support, opportunities for collaboration, a community of like-mined individuals, recognition and possible financial support.

Ashoka’s Changemakers.com is a global online community of action where anyone can source and collaborate on social solutions.

The Ashoka Support Network (ASN) is a global community of successful business leaders and philanthropists who engage with Ashoka. Each member commits time and resources to support the work of Ashoka Fellows.

The Learning Networks Program is a three-year mission to help educators transform higher education in Canada. During this time, we plan to engage 30 colleges and universities in co-creating vibrant ecosystems that support changemaking and changemakers within higher education.

 

What makes Ashoka unique:

  • Our understanding of the history we are living and the revolution happening in the citizen sector: Ashoka is able to build programs designed to address the economic and social forces shaping our communities
  • Our excellence in seeking out the world’s leading social entrepreneurs: We are pioneers in the field of social entrepreneurship, with three decades of experience in identifying and investing in social entrepreneurs who have identified new systems-changing ideas. We have built a network and are always working on partnerships to support them in finding solutions to existing problems.
  • Our selection process: To elect our Fellows we have refined a rigorous and extensive selection process, drawing on our networks of local and international experts for nominations, interviews, and analysis.
  • Our platform for open-source collaboration: We have systematized virtual collaborative entrepreneurship through our Changemakers.com platform.
  • The impact of our network: The network effect, linking leading social entrepreneurs to business entrepreneurs, creates multiple dimensions of financial and community partnerships along with large scale, systems-changing social impact.
  • Our ability to build programs designed to address the economic and social challenges shaping our commuinities: Our thirty years of experience and our global network of changemakers enables us to catalyze systems change throughout society.