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Leading Social Entrepreneurs 2019

This article originally appeared on Ashoka Leading Social Entrepreneurs

This latest edition of Leading Social Entrepreneurs features a sample of recently elected Ashoka Fellows, who have become part of the largest global network of social entrepreneurs. In the following pages, you will read about new innovations by people who are building an “Everyone a Changemaker” world and whose ideas are changing the way things are done all over the planet.

Ashoka believes the most powerful force for change in the world is a pattern-change idea in the hands of a first-class entrepreneur. With this conviction, we pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship almost 40 years ago. Ever since, we’ve bet on the optimists and the adventurous who see the world not as it is, but as it should be. 

In this volume, you will find profiles introducing a sample of the ideas and leading social entrepreneurs recently elected by Ashoka. They are grouped according to six broad fields: civic engagement, environment, full economic citizenship, health, human rights, and learning/education. 

These sketches introduce entrepreneurs at different stages in their careers; Senior Fellows have already had profound social impact but most are Fellows just launching their work. However, annual Ashoka evaluations show that five years after their election, 76 percent of Ashoka Fellows have changed the pattern in their field at the national and/or international level.

Moreover, they encourage many others to stand up and become changemakers—both as role models and because, to succeed, they must—and do—find local changemakers in community after community that adopt and spread their models. 

With each new leading social entrepreneur we nurture, Ashoka creates a different kind of future: one where each of us looks inside ourselves and sees a changemaker. We hope the ideas and stories of these leading social entrepreneurs help strengthen the changemaker in you. We invite you to support Ashoka by sharing these stories and helping us continue to find and invest in the next systems-changing social entrepreneurs. 

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