Ashoka envisions a world in which everyone is a changemaker: a world where all citizens are powerful and contribute to change in positive ways. Ashoka identifies and supports the world's leading social entrepreneurs and mobilizes a global community to advance an "everyone a changemaker world."
Ashoka in Switzerland
As part of Ashoka’s global network, Ashoka Switzerland aims to:
- Identify, support and connect the world's leading social entrepreneurs. Click here to read more about the Fellows elected in Switzerland.
- Build strategic partnerships to advance Ashoka’s mission. The Ashoka Support Network and our Partners stand by our side to support us in achieving our mission.
Ashoka's office in Switzerland was founded in 2007. For more detailed information about Ashoka Switzerland, have a look at our latest activity report.
What we do in Switzerland
IDENTIFYING, SUPPORTING AND CONNECTING THE WORLD'S LEADING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS
Ashoka searches the world for leading social entrepreneurs who are tackling the toughest challenges facing society today in areas that include health and wellbeing, education, environment, and employment. Through an ongoing search and extensive selection process, Ashoka elects the leading social entrepreneurs creating systemic change to join the Ashoka Fellowship community. At each stage in the process, candidates are assessed against five core criteria:
- A new idea: does the candidate have a new and potentially systems changing solution?
- Social impact: does the idea address the root cause of a social problem? Is it likely to solve a social problem at a national or international level?
- Entrepreneurial spirit: does the individual have the determination, ingenuity and realism to carry out large-scale implementation?
- Creativity: does the candidate have enough creative potential to solve unforeseen problems?
- Ethical fiber: does the individual have the highest ethical standards?
Selected social entrepreneurs, Ashoka Fellows, join the Ashoka Fellowship Program. As part of this program, Fellows are granted a series of benefits, most importantly a three-year financial support and a lifetime membership into an expansive network of peers, pro-bono mentors and ecosystems of partners that help them gain the necessary skills and resources to succeed and maximize their impact.
Fellows elected in Europe also become part of the Ashoka European Fellowship Program, a co-learning and co-creation community for Ashoka Fellows, Ashoka Support Network members (ASN), partners, and key ecosystem players in changemaking from across Europe. The Ashoka European Fellowship Program aims to transform challenges in changemaking into opportunities to learn and co-create solutions. This program offers:
- Tailor-made content in Impact Orientation, System Change, Replication & Transfer, New Leadership and Wellbeing
- Peer communities to co-learn and support each other in safe spaces for bigger impact
- Co-creation opportunities among Ashoka Fellows, Ashoka Support Network members (ASN), partners, and key ecosystem players in changemaking
Ashoka’s aim is that all Fellows in Europe have a strengthened identity as Social Entrepreneurs, a deeper understanding of their system changing new idea, accelerated know-how, resources, networks and impact, and improved life opportunities and wellbeing.
BUILDING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS TO ADVANCE ASHOKA'S MISSION
We partner with individuals, universities, corporations, citizen sector organizations, media, and other influencers to unlock everyone’s potential to be a changemaker.
The Ashoka Support Network is a global community of successful, innovative leaders from a variety of fields, who connect with the world's leading social entrepreneurs to accelerate positive social change. They support Ashoka financially as well as strategically, offering their time, network and expertise.
"Experiencing Social Entrepreneurship," is an annual mentoring program that matches social entrepreneurs from Ashoka’s network of Fellows with teams of mentors from J.P. Morgan. This program is aimed on one side at supporting leading innovators to tackle their most pressing organization issues, and on the other at engaging J.P. Morgan employees to discover the world of social entrepreneurship and the power of cross-sector collaboration.
"Promoting Social Entrepreneurship in Latin America" is a program aiming to reduce poverty and contribute to greater economic inclusion of vulnerable groups through social entrepreneurship. It provides social entrepreneurs with specific support at each stage of their development, including by providing funding to help them focus full time on their project, developing skills to prepare for investment and achieve systemic impact, and facilitating research and information exchange activities.
Phase I of the program was implemented from 2014 to 2018 in Central America and Latin America, and phase II was launched at the beginning of 2019.
Learn more about the impact of Phase I of Promoting Social Entrepreneurship in Latin America: download Impact Report.
SEA-Change Africa is the sister program of “Promoting Social Entrepreneurs in Latin America”, and as such it shares the same mission of reducing poverty and contributing to greater economic inclusion of vulnerable populations through social entrepreneurship.
Ashoka believes that social entrepreneurs can lead the charge for solutions to Africa’s most pressing challenges, from agriculture, to education. However two of the greatest challenges these dedicated innovators face are raising finance, and building the right skillset to succeed and grow. In this context, the SEA-Change program was designed to identify, develop, grow, and multiply the impact of social enterprises in the region, supporting them in their evolution from promising, emerging innovators, to successful ventures having large-scale, if not systemic impact in their field.
Ashoka Switzerland supports the creation of innovative alliances between social entrepreneurs, businesses and governments to complement each others' skills and expertise in order to take on challenges that no one could solve alone, while simultaneously having access to new strategic win-win opportunities. Over the past years, Ashoka Switzerland has been supporting many co-creation initiatives.