Leading social entrepreneurs moving barriers and contributing to 'Everyone A Changemaker' world
For more than 30 years, Ashoka Africa has been fostering Africas' largest network of system-change social entrepreneurs. Ashoka Nigeria is part of the Ashoka Africa Hub and was launched in 1990. Our first and longest running program in Anglophone West Africa to date includes over 110 systems-changing social entrepreneurs, whom we call Ashoka Fellows. The regional office based in Lagos covers Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana.
Our goal is to stimulate and support the most innovative entrepreneurial solutions to the social and environmental challenges we face today. And to foster “Everyone A Changemaker” societies along with other key stakeholders across sectors. This means equipping more people, including young people, with the skillset and a connection to the purpose so that they can contribute ideas and effectively solve problems in their worlds - be it in their family, community, city, workplace, field, industry, country, or beyond. We provide connections to a global network and a platform for people dedicated to changing the world. Ashoka is also ideally positioned to identify patterns in social innovation, convene key decision-makers from the social entrepreneurship, corporate, public and investment sectors to facilitate the emergence of collaborative models that can address the most critical societal challenges at large scale.
While the Ashoka network includes social entrepreneurs working on any critical societal issue - from education, human rights, civic participation, economic development to nutrition and healthcare among others – we are eager to spot and supply solutions that are particularly relevant in the current regional context such as social cohesion, addressing economic inequalities, quality education for all and climate resilience amongst others.
Ashoka Venture and Fellowship
Our longest running and cornerstone program is Venture and Fellowship, through which we select catalytic social entrepreneurs, with the potential to not only achieve impact in their organization but transform systems. Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who are tackling the toughest challenges facing society today. Since launching Ashoka in Anglophone West Africa, we have elected and supported over 110 social innovators.
Ashoka’s Venture program begins with a proactive search and rigorous selection process to find the next Fellows to join the Ashoka community. Each year we receive over 100 nominations and applications in the region.
The Fellowship program offers financial and non-financial strategic support to its members. Our focus is on leveraging our network of peers and supporters, honing in key topics such as systems-change, financial and personal sustainability, and providing strategic opportunities to Fellows throughout their careers and stages of development as the non-financial support is not time bound. A Fellow may be at an inflection point to get an innovative idea off the ground or may have already achieved national impact and made a “scratch on history” with their idea.
Ashoka Young Changemakers
Ashoka Young Changemakers are a carefully selected network of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 years, who have found their power to create change for the good of all, and who are engaging their peers and the entire society in realizing a world where everyone is a changemaker. We hold the belief that one of the most effective ways to improve the lives of young people and the world at large is to empower them to realize their own ability to create positive social change. We are aiming at cultivating and building an eco-system that supports youth to be changemakers. Through their initiatives, Young Changemakers become role models in their community, proving that it is possible to be actively engaged and to Lead Young. Beyond their immediate surrounding, they also convey their message of change by participating in large outreach events or campaigns in Africa.
Ashoka Changemaker Schools
Discover the Changemaker Schools program around the world
Impact! Africa Social Entrepreneurship Summit
Ashoka West Africa is regularly hosting action-focused events to connect our network of Fellows, young leaders and Changemaker schools to other changemakers from the philanthropy, corporate, investment or public sectors. We believe in the power of sharing, learning from experience and co-creating new solutions to current societal challenges and in the need to provide platforms for greater collaboration across sectors.
The Pan-African Impact! Africa Summit is an annual event hosted in collaboration with the British Council to accelerate innovation and solutions to Africa's most pressing challenges. The summit brings together social entrepreneurs and key ecosystem players across the continent.
The first edition of the Summit took place in Johannesburg - South Africa in June 2018. The second edition was held in East Africa in Nairobi – Kenya in December 2019. The third edition will take place in Nigeria for the first time in West Africa.
Pape Samb comes to Ashoka with 20 years of leadership experience and an established record in strategic planning, program development and management, content management, fundraising, proposal writing, training and facilitation. At 13, he started a women’s empowerment and youth economic development organization. At 17, he was president of CAP-Jeunesse, a Senegalese network of youth organizations; and was hired by the Senegalese government to train youth in entrepreneurship, business and grassroots organization management.
Ifeyinwa joined Ashoka as the Venture and Fellowship manager of Anglophone West Africa. Born in Nigeria where women are denied equal opportunities to men she decided to commit her life to creating an environment where women and men have equal opportunities to live quality lives. She started off as an adolescent reproductive health and gender development trainer, positioning young women with information and skills to help them question gender roles and become visible and empowered members of their communities. In 2010 Ifeyinwa became one of the Young Champions of maternal health selected to a fellowship where she learnt how to use a volunteer method to provide practical support to pregnant women during pregnancy until the baby is one year old. Afterwards she went back to Nigeria and started the Birthing Project Nigeria, providing women with access to quality medical care before, during and after deliveries. She holds a Bachelors’ degree in Sociology.
Ashoka W. Africa is grateful to partner with the following companies, deepening our impact and connecting our ecosystems together to create transformative change.