Like many of our colleagues in the citizen sector, we believe that social finance can significantly increase the impact of innovative solutions. And, like many others, we believe that social investing has not reached the realm of what is possible.
For a number of years, Ashoka Social Financial Services has sought to address critical obstacles and foster innovation by supporting social entrepreneurs and collaborating with social investors to create new investment vehicles and funds. In the process of reviewing the innovations and investment potential of the Social Investment Entrepreneurs in Ashoka’s Global Fellowship Program, it became clear that social entrepreneurs are beginning to use the market to address social challenges on a large scale. This process guided us towards social finance opportunities, shed new light on common challenges in the sector, and, most importantly, pointed us towards opportunities for significantly greater impact.
Thanks to the generous support of the Trico Charitable Foundation, the below report communicates our initial understanding of how people are using markets to address social challenges at scale, and the opportunities and implications for social finance.