Porticus is an international organisation that manages and develops the philanthropic programmes of charitable entities established by Brenninkmeijer family entrepreneurs
Ashoka Bangladesh was launched in 1987 when we began supporting system change social entrepreneurs in the country, as Ashoka Fellows. To date, we have supported more than 70 men and women with creative new approaches for solving social problems and connected them into a dynamic peer network to help them grow their ideas and impact.
Today Ashoka is the world’s largest network of leading social entrepreneurs and ranks among the top 5 NGOs of the world.
Impacting millions of people and communities through their work, our Fellows include people like Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank) and human rights defender Shahidul Islam Chowdhury (Uttaran), among several others. Currently, we have over 70+ Ashoka Fellows in wide-ranging fields such as farming, education, human rights, finance, local media, and women and youth empowerment, across Bangladesh.
Ashoka Bangladesh functions as a collaborative network that supports and amplifies change by bringing together these changemakers.
In the course of our work, having witnessed the changing patterns in society over close to three decades, and the way our problems are increasing at a pace faster than we can solve them, we have realised that to truly make things better for everyone we need to head towards a world where everyone is a changemaker. And just like social entrepreneurs, the world needs everyone to start practicing skills like empathy, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving.
To this end, we believe that changemaking has to start young, and through our programs like Youth Venture and Venture and Fellowship, we find, develop, and support young changemakers, enabling them to be role models in their communities, and give them the skills to thrive in our changing world.
Adults today who started something in their teens are four times as likely to be C-level leaders and five times as likely to be founders. This will become exponentially more so as the world tips fully into an ‘Everyone a Changemaker’ future.
Ashoka Bangladesh's Youth Venture program is cultivating and equipping an ecosystem that supports youth to be changemakers. We have helped hundreds of young people (12-20 years old) to have their own dreams, build teams, and change their world (school, community). Beginning in October 2016, we have till now elected 23 Youth Venturers across Bangladesh.
Through their initiatives, Youth Venturers are 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 in Bangladesh.
Ashoka Youth Venture builds partnerships with educational institutes, youth organizations, and state governments to help support young people. It creates national amplification platforms so that young people can spread their ideas and get support from experienced mentors.
Every year Ashoka Youth Venture holds a number of Young Changemaker Days, workshops and events to trigger ideas in young people which can lead to social enterprises and inspire passionate students.
Being a Youth Venturer is life changing: One knows that one has the most valued set of skills in an everything-changing world; that one is a changemaker.
For more than 35 years, Ashoka has built and nurtured the largest network of leading social entrepreneurs in the world. The venture program is the mechanism through which Ashoka searches and selects the world’s leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows. It remains the flagship program under which Ashoka was founded and remains at the heart of Ashoka's strategy.
Ashoka supports system-changing new ideas in the hands of entrepreneurial individuals across sectors. After a rigorous selection process, they are introduced to a life-long fellowship, where every member is committed to championing new patterns of social good. We understand the individual needs of social entrepreneurs vary depending on the stage of their work. Once selected, each Ashoka Fellow embarks on a tailored timeline of investments and support over their lifetime. We make sure that the Ashoka brand, the engagements we curate and facilitate, and the connections we open are valuable to each Fellow. We invite Fellows to make the most of the network through interactions that will increase their chances for deepening their social impact. Some of the support Fellows will enjoy include:
To learn more about our criteria and selection process, see here. We take nominations throughout the year.
Our diverse network of over 73 Fellows in the region has a significant impact on systems and lives of citizens.
Fellows have said that the Ashoka Fellowship gives them an identity, a community, and the network to do more.