When one of Germany’s biggest corporations, Siemens, decided to create a foundation, its leadership knew social business models were a key tool in achieving community impact. Their early research led them to Ashoka, and the innovative social change Ashoka Fellows are making all over around the world.
In the middle of the night, I wake up thinking about this question.
Why is this on my mind, you might be wondering? As a recently baptized Ashoka Fellow, I find myself spending a lot of time lately explaining the meaning of the phrase social entrepreneurship. The sometimes confused looks on the faces of people listening tell me that they don't always get it.
Fueled by insomnia and searching for a better explanation, I fire up the Internet and, of course, check Wikipedia. It says this:
Mexican social entrepreneurs Carlos Cruz was admittedly suspicious of big business when a group from Danone SA sought his help training low-income women to sell yogurt on the street.
For six months, their teams met in neutral locations, hashing out how Cruz might adapt a life- and job-skills program he’d designed for his citizen sector group Cauce Ciudadano to make the vendors more productive.
Ashoka founder and CEO Bill Drayton and Valeria Budinich, who heads Ashoka's worldwide efforts to forge profitable alliances between private companies and citizen-sector organizations, have just submitted a jointly authored blog post to the Harvard Business Reviews "The Conversation" blogs section.