Pillar IV: How do we foster Economic Inclusion in Latin America ?
Since 2014, Ashoka has partnered with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to empower social entrepreneurs – Ashoka Fellows with globally scalable innovations for poverty alleviation - to grow their impact and replicate their model in Latin America, through two Globalizer Summits in Bogota and Buenos Aires.
What triggered this initiative is the extremely challenging infrastructural environment for low-income markets. These challenges are too systemic to be solved by a single social entrepreneur or inclusive business alone. Too little is known and done to strengthen innovative individual approaches, project based alliances and platforms at the meso-level – spanning a wide range of market players in business, government, and civil society. This is why several initiatives are trying to strengthen this ecosystem from the top-down macro level.
From this perspective, an advisory team of senior business executives and strategy experts led discussions and workshops where Ashoka fellows have learned more about :
- Ways to create alliances with other social entrepreneurs and/or companies, to build trusting relationships, and discover shared areas of commonality.
- Financing models, norms and politics: strengthening financial mechanisms and corporative structures across the region to increase the impact of inclusive businesses.
- Existing gaps and different barriers for scaling impact support ecosystem for Social Entrepreneurs
- Existing best-practice examples of innovative private initiatives by single Social Entrepreneurs who have overcome ecosystem gaps at the micro-level, and international solutions to ecosystem gaps that can be imported to Latin America.
Based on the feedback received, an estimated 73% of fellows reported that their scaling strategies "improved a lot" or "changed completely" in 2015, and 45% of Fellows mentioned they already got at least one important partnership out of the program. Other great feedback from partners resulted in many renewal of or new partnerships to empower social entrepreneurs.
These Globalizers are part of the Pillar 4 of a larger 5-pillar program to promote social entrepreneursip in Latin America led by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, in partnership with Ashoka, Hystra and New Ventures.