Who is an Ashoka Fellow? 

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. These leading social entrepreneurs define the roadmaps that allow people to thrive in this new environment, while providing solutions and demonstrating the how-tos.

What are the criteria to be an Ashoka Fellow? 

At the heart of our process to elect Fellows are five criteria shown below which all candidates must meet to become a Fellow. These criteria help maintain the integrity of the Fellowship and allow for consistency and mutual respect within the diversity of the network. 


What is the process to be elected an Ashoka Fellow? 

Before becoming a Fellow, a candidate undergoes an intensive process of interviews, background checks, and critique at a local and global level. Successful candidates will have founded or co-founded their organisation, and they must be able to commit 100% of their time to implementing their new idea for at least three years from election. And while Ashoka celebrates the contributions of all social entrepreneurs, it focuses its support on those operating not-for-profits.  

The Search and Selection process allows Ashoka to screen candidates against its criteria to maintain quality and integrity in the Fellowship.

  1. Nomination: A candidate can either be nominated by someone within the Ashoka network, someone in their field, or even themselves. All nominations are recorded by local country staff for further review.

  2. First Opinion Review: Local Ashoka Representatives now review a candidate, interview them, perform site visits, check references and the candidate's background. In this step they carefully assess that the candidate meets Ashoka's criteria within the context of the region.

  3. Second Opinion Review: If local staff proposes the candidate for the Fellowship, they are then interviewed by a senior member of the Ashoka network approved as a representative from the global Board of Directors from outside the region to assure an unbiased application of the criteria.

  4. Selection Panel: If the 2nd Opinion Review was successful also, the candidate is then interviewed by three experts and entrepreneurs (including an Ashoka Fellow) from the region who can appropriately assess the newness of the idea and the other criteria. A final recommendation of election is then made to the Global Board of Directors.

  5. Global Board Review: After rigorous revisions, final materials about each candidate are presented to the Global Board of Directors for final approval. 

From start to finish, the selection process generally takes from four to nine months.

Collective Impact For Systems Change

Discover how we ignite collaborations and collective impact around Europe´s most pressing challenges: Biodiversity, Democracy, Anti-corruption, the impacts of COVID-19 and more.

The Ashoka Europe Fellowship Program

The Ashoka Europe Fellowship Program is a co-learning and co-creation community to leverage Ashoka's local and global experience, resources and networks in order to advance social entrepreneurship and changemaking for the good of all - across the continent. The Program empowers and connects change leaders and key players in the social entrepreneurship eco-sytstem in Europe to learn from one another and aim for systems change in co-creative ways.

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The Globalizer program taps into Ashoka’s broad network of changemakers across the business, government, and citizen sectors. It begins with a three-month advisory phase where a support team of volunteer advisors—leading strategy consultants and high-level business leaders—help Ashoka Fellows reflect on key issues and establish a solid strategy to spread their impact.

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