Akanksha Hazari

Ashoka Fellow
Mumbai, India
Fellow Since 2013

Citation

This profile was prepared when Akanksha Hazari was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Akanksha Hazari is empowering underserved families with the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to achieve the life they aspire. She is achieving this through a mobile-based rewards program that empowers underserved communities by connecting their spending and positive behaviors to valuable points that are redeemed for social impact rewards to transform their lives.

Akanksha leverages the power of the poor as ‘consumers’ to build creative partnerships with companies and other service providers. For every product purchased by members of the community, Akanksha gets companies to invest a percentage of their profits in a ‘development fund.’ The fund in turn is utilized to bring on board different non-profit partners who can provide essential services to the community, such as skill development, education, and health services. At the core of Akanksha’s idea lies the ‘reward point’ system, which allows members of the community to avail of different opportunities for points accumulated against their spending and positive behaviour. For instance, a family can win points by regularly maintaining a log book of expenses and income and redeem this for classes on financial literacy.

Through this engagement with communities, CSOs, and companies, Akanksha is creating new form of hybrid value chain in which every stakeholder finds increased value – companies can increase markets and goodwill within communities, non-profits can access new funds and spread their impact in new communities, and the community is uplifted by being able to access essential services and new opportunities.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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