Why Leading Social Entrepreneurs are Critical Today

In a world defined by change, success comes from everyone leading. Social entrepreneurs define the new roadmaps that allow people to thrive in this new environment, while providing solutions and demonstrating the how-tos.

Ashoka engages the world’s largest and most powerful network of social entrepreneurs by searching for and selecting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs: Ashoka Fellows. Ashoka pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship more than 35 years ago, and today it continues to build the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs.

Ashoka Fellows champion new ideas that transform society’s systems -- providing benefits for everyone and improving the lives of millions of people. Ashoka Fellows are the ultimate role models in today’s world.

Ashoka identifies patterns that are emerging from our Fellows—types of solutions, strategies, topic areas, etc.—that often point to areas ripe for major change. These learnings from across our Fellowship guide Ashoka’s work and investments in strategic initiatives that empower every person to be a changemaker.


Our purpose is to help innovative social entrepreneurs make the UK and Ireland better for everyone by tackling the biggest social challenges. We do this by:


Select, Support, Scale illustrations. Select (person looking at a bookcase with one object highlighted in green), Support (two people, one with umbrella, holding it over both of them while rain pours down), and Scale (person halfway up a mountain looking out towards other mountains)


Selecting the very best social entrepreneurs and welcoming them into the Global Fellowship as Ashoka Fellows.





Supporting them with finance, access to professional services and a network of business leaders, entrepreneurs and partners who are committed to supporting them in building a sustainable and impactful organisation.



Scaling their model locally, nationally and globally by providing knowledge, best practices and global networks.

Sub Programs

Venture: Selecting our Ashoka Fellows

Ashoka searches the world for leading social entrepreneurs through an intensive, human-centered process, selecting them into our global, trust-based fellowship of peers.
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The Ashoka Fellowship

Ashoka Fellows are the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. They champion innovative new ideas that transform society’s systems, providing benefits for everyone and improving the lives of millions of people.
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I founded Nafisika to create safer communities through the reduction of reoffence among prison inmates. Over the ten years that she have engaged with the prison system in Kenya. The trust has become an essential partner in the delivery of behaviour change and economic empowerment skills training to...

Vickie Wambura
Founder Nafisika Trust. Ashoka Fellow since 2013

Ashoka is unlike any other organization I’ve worked with. And this is a good thing. Forget about hierarchies and decision-trees. Forget about caveats and we’ve-never-done-that’s. I have never worked with a more committed group of people whose first response is ‘why not!,’ whose job descriptions say...

Eric Dawson
Founder of Peace First. Ashoka Fellow since 2007​