Daniel Buchbinder

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2016


This profile was prepared when Daniel Buchbinder was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2016.
The New Idea
After working in the sector for some time, Daniel realized that almost all offer around social entrepreneurship in Central America were being reserved for elite or high socioeconomic classes, and that there were no inclusive options that would offer networks, resources and accompaniment to entrepreneurs coming from different backgrounds – mainly low income, rural or indigenous – which make up the majority of the population. As a solution to this, he founded Alterna, an organization that “cultivates” social entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and also drives the creation of a democratic social entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region.

In order to include all interested entrepreneurs, Alterna does not hold a selection process for participation. Daniel has created a completely tailored program for each participant and the cultivation process is reciprocal - they invest the amount of time that is equal to the entrepreneur's commitment, resulting in a self – selecting pipeline. To ensure that every entrepreneur gets exactly what they need to advance their idea, Daniel developed a fellowship program, where volunteers with diverse expertise commit their time and resources, relocating for 6 to 12 months to the place where the entrepreneurs are and becoming close mentors in the process.

Daniel understands that there is immense potential in all sectors of society and has developed ways of reaching them and giving them access to skills that can help them advance their initiatives. Daniel partners with different actors, from MFIs, development organizations and government in order to help them include the “cultivation offer” into their programs, turning every beneficiary or client into a potential agent of change.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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