Asma Mansour

Ashoka Fellow


This profile was prepared when Asma Mansour was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
Asma is creating a new culture and approach for solving social problems in the Arab Maghreb sub-region (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Libya) by introducing to the community, the government and the private sector the concept of social enterprise. As an alternative to government dependency or immigration when facing social problems, Asma is offering communities a third option which empowers them to have an active, innovative role in changing their situations.
In a non-favorable environment for social innovations and with the absence of relevant legal frameworks, Asma has launched the first movement across the Arab Maghreb sub-region to create an enabling environment for social enterprises and develop its ecosystem in a uniquely holistic manner. Asma is doing so through promoting and spreading the concept of social enterprises and supporting a new cadre of social entrepreneurs. She is thereby sowing a culture of social enterprises within the community as well as mobilizing community members and youth to lead the change towards a socially entrepreneurial environment.
To promote social enterprises, Asma employs tactics of advocacy, awareness, education, and lobbying for a new legal framework directed to young people, government personnel, universities and the public. Additionally, for supporting a new generation of social entrepreneurs, Asma works with existing private and public incubators to provide technical assistance to social entrepreneurs, linking them to funding opportunities, as well as a market and commercialize their products and services.
Asma’s work has spread throughout Tunisia and has already been replicated in both Morocco and Algeria. As the architecture of an entirely new ecosystem, Asma is shifting perceptions, creating jobs, and increasing economic opportunities.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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