Years of supporting social entrepreneurship in the UK & Ireland.
Our Key Priorities
Whilst Ashoka has been supporting its Fellows over the last four decades, we have also seen a profound transformation in the dynamics of the world around them. Change began to accelerate. What used to take centuries now takes decades, and what used to take decades now takes years. Trying to fix broken systems involves new challenges to embrace these complex and ever-changing dynamics. For all the great work of social entrepreneurs, we cannot rely on them alone to create the scale of solutions now needed. Indeed, to achieve the necessary scale, we need everyone to step up. This is how Ashoka defines its strategy as we enter this new world – Everyone a Changemaker™.
Ashoka UK and Ireland has worked for over 15 years to support outstanding social innovators with transformative solutions to social issues and now focuses on the following areas:
Searching, selecting, and supporting UK and Ireland’s leading social entrepreneurs
For those elected as Fellows, Ashoka provides tailored lifetime support to scale their solutions’ impact. This ranges from initial monetary support, in the form of a stipend for up to three years, to strategic advice from a global network of peers, experts, and key decision-makers. Learn more about our Venture and Fellowship programme and how you can get involved.
Enabling our society to embrace social innovation and changemaking
In the last 40 years, we have not only built the world’s largest community of leading social entrepreneurs but also continued to build and empower the field of social entrepreneurship. At the heart of this effort has always been the commitment to make systems change the central goal of social entrepreneurship. Learn more about our work in promoting systems change across sectors and how you can get involved.
Empowering all young people to become changemakers
Our mission is to trigger a shift in mindsets across the learning ecosystem in the UK and Ireland so that the experience of education empowers every young person to be a changemaker. Our approach to achieving this is to find, connect and organise social innovators, government, foundations, thought leaders and young people themselves that are already pioneering the field of changemaking. And then, to organise these communities to lead initiatives which eventually tip ecosystems toward a future in which every young person is becoming a changemaker. Here are some examples of young changemakers.
How You Can Get Involved
Venture and Fellowship
For more than 40 years, Ashoka has built and nurtured the largest network of leading social entrepreneurs in the world. After a rigorous selection process, they are introduced to a life-long Fellowship, where every member is committed to championing new patterns of social good. Collectively we co-create Ashoka’s vision of an Everyone a Changemaker world.
Counting more than 300 schools globally to date, the Ashoka Changemaker Schools network aligns around a shared vision: to empower children and young people to be socially minded leaders, with the connection to purpose that enables them to effectively solve problems and drive positive change. In the UK & Ireland we have established a network of 15 Ashoka Changemaker Schools who prove that re imagining education is possible in every context: primary; secondary; free; religious; state-schools.
Ashoka Support Network
The Ashoka Support Network (ASN) is a global community of business leaders from a variety of fields who support Ashoka both financially and strategically. In the UK & Ireland we have a community of over 35 ASN members who offer their time, networks and expertise to Ashoka Fellows and Changemaker Schools, supporting them to amplify their social impact.
Nikki is Co-Director of Ashoka UK with a core focus on partnerships to embed radical collaboration and changemaking for a better world into the corporate landscape. Before joining Ashoka, Nikki successfully led the Social Innovation Strategy for New Zealand’s National Innovation Agency to change the funding landscape for social entrepreneurs in the country. She has mentored social enterprises in accelerator programs and helped raise $2 million for New Zealand’s largest social enterprise in 2017. As a self-professed purpose-driven business catalyst, Nikki thrives on pushing new ways of thinking around impact business models. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and stands by the Benefit Corporation mission that business can be a force for good. A previous Managing Director of a 12-person marketing and branding agency, with years of experience in business strategy, business development, marketing strategy and partnership collaboration
Felix looks after the back office functions for the Ashoka UK team, Ireland team and the EU Hub. He joined Ashoka in June 2017, after 5.5 years of working as an actuarial consultant in the pension advisory industry. Felix holds two Master's degrees, in actuarial science and MORSE. (No, not MORSE of Morse code, but Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics & Economics. I know, tell me about it.)
Anu Bhatnagar joined the Ashoka UK team in May 2019 - as Partnerships and Support Network Manager - after having volunteered, and loved working with the team earlier. She is an On Purpose Fellow, and recently worked in social investment in the UK, including at Big Society Capital. In a previous life, she was a stockbroker at Morgan Stanley. Her change in career was sparked by experiences with purpose-driven organsations, fighting food waste with FoodCycle, and supporting the opening of the world's first Partition Museum in India. She holds a BA in Economics and International Studies and a post graduate degree in Management, studying in the US, the UK and in India.
Florian leads on systems change partnerships, research, and training in the UK and he co-designed Ashoka's European Fellowship program where he co-leads the systems change, new leadership and wellbeing modules. After managing and heading up Ashoka's Fellowship in the UK for three years, his work in recent years has increasingly focused on the ecosystem for social entrepreneurs – in particular on funding for their systems changing work.
Florian graduated in business economics and social entrepreneurship, studying in the Netherlands, Hong Kong, United States, United Kingdom, and Kenya. He worked as a social impact consultant on impact measurement, communication and stakeholder engagement, and co-founded the global #TweetADream campaigns which reached 25k young people in 35 countries with the aim of inspiring them to discover their own power for change.
Tatiana manages the search and selection of new Ashoka Fellows in the UK. Prior to joining Ashoka she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco focusing on youth programming and sport for development. She has extensive experience in the NGO sector working as a researcher, journalist, facilitator, and program manager. Tatiana holds an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation from the London School of Economics and is pursuing a PhD in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh.
International Staff in the UK & Ireland
Clarice joined Ashoka in 2012 and was responsible for structuring the UK’s back-office. Since 2016, she’s been leading the finance and operations team across Ashoka’s 10+ offices in Europe. In her previous life, Clarice worked for more than 10 years with hospitality, travel and tourism, and was the COO of a travel agency in Rio de Janeiro. She moved to Europe to pursue a double-diploma MA in Sustainable Tourism Management from London Metropolitan University & ESCEM Business School (France), where she specialised in community-based tourism. When living in France, she also worked for CENTRAIDER (Centre for International Cooperation and Solidarity) in Tours, and for the Auvergne Region Tourist Board, in Clermont-Ferrand.
Pip is the Country Director of Ashoka in the UK. Australian by birth, she has spent the majority of her career in South Africa. Prior to moving to the UK, Pip founded a youth development organisation in South Africa, enke: Make Your Mark. In early 2015, after six years as enke’s CEO, she handed over the reigns to study an MBA at Saïd Business School, Oxford. In addition, she has also consulted on innovative finance at the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship; mapped the entrepreneurial support landscape across Africa for the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading; and facilitated strategy development. For her work in social innovation she’s been awarded a Skoll Scholarship, an Ashoka Fellowship; and she was a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. She currently still serves on the board of enke as a non-executive director.
Mark is a member of the Leadership Group at Ashoka, based in Hong Kong. Mark started with Ashoka in 2007 as a Senior Advisor on Social Finance, based in London. He became UK Director in 2011, and European Director in 2014. Mark led the European Diamond from 2014-19, before moving to Hong Kong where he has launched the Hong Kong Chapter for Ashoka. Prior to joining Ashoka, Mark founded Chelwood Capital, a global social investment advisory firm, which he continues to actively manage. Mark is recognized as a pioneer in impact investment, and over the past decade has helped raise over $250mn for social causes in areas including micro-finance, clean energy, healthcare, education and conservation. He is a Director of Emerge Education, a leading incubator for ed/tech start-ups, and a founding member of the ClearlySo Angels network, the UK’s first angel investment network for impact investors.
Shrushti is a trained psychologist and comes with an unconventional mix of private and public sector experience. In her most recent role, she is working with Ashoka Innovators for the Public, the organization that pioneered the sector of social entrepreneurship 30+ years ago. She is building the world’s largest network of 3,700+ leading social entrepreneurs, amplifying and connecting a global community that is leading the everyone a changemaker movement. Shrushti recognized the unarguable economic market opportunity and environmental benefits of recycling waste and co-founded Reash, a company that is working on waste management and building circular systems across South Asia. Yoga has a major influence in her life. She has been teaching yoga since the age of 18, with the intention of helping young adults develop a problem-solving attitude through the art form.