Since our inception as a Romanian office in 2017, we have been in constant remodelling of our strategy so that we ensure we align with the international vision and are able to plug-in the best international opportunities and expertise to the local ecosystem. We also take into account the local environment, we discuss with our peers and try to position ourselves as close as possible to the local community of changemakers and social entrepreneurs.
Our mission at Ashoka is to identify the world's leading social entrepreneurs, learn from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an "everyone a changemaker world." In Romania we have been present since 2017, electing thus far 8 Ashoka Fellows. Our work locally leverages our international experience and aims to be a key player in elevating the voices of social entrepreneurs and changemakers and nurture the ecosystem together with our partners.
Our strategy lies on the following 4 pillars:
People – Identifying the cutting-edge social entrepreneurs to become part of our Ashoka Fellows network, support them in their lifelong journey and leverage their stories to uplift the ecosystem and bring these role models to light.
Knowledge - We all know we do not have enough data about social entrepreneurship in Romania, nor do we have enough recognition or network dynamics. We don’t know exactly about all the initiatives that are happening nationally nor the people behind them, which hinders collaboration, hardens benchmarking of existing solutions, creates a bubble of action and essentially constraints us to assess the health check on our Romanian changemakers. We want to participate in enriching the available data we have on the sector, bring best practices, tools and reports that will inform all stakeholders involved in the system.
Values – In our work with Ashoka Fellows, we recognised the skills to be nurtured from an early age in order to shape the next generations of changemakers – we call them changemaker skills and they entail empathy, changemaking, co-creative teamwork, new leadership and working in open, fluid teams of teams. We are committed to finding the right partners and with Ashoka Fellows to identify the best ways to grow these skills among young people.
Connected Ecosystem – An overarching pillar for us which leads us to create neutral spaces for people to connect, come together and solve systemic issues in a collaborative way. It entails connections with Ashoka Fellows from the international network, or bring different actors to the same table for collective impact.
All of our projects in 2021 aimed to contribute to these pillars. And while we are far from achieving these goals, we are proud of the bricks we are adding to the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Romania.