Economic Development

Ashoka Fellows and initiatives across the globe are developing core strategies on how to approach economic development. They are remodeling systems of resource allocation, infrastructure and value-chains to include the world’s poorest citizens in a more integrated economy. They are creating security and access to markets thus developing efficient production and distribution mechanisms for goods and services. Their work brings visible results: innovative solutions to improving the quality of life for the almost two-thirds of the world’s population living on less than $2 per day.

As a result of these Fellow’s successes, Ashoka created the Full Economic Citizenship initiative (FEC) to distill and spread their insights around the world. Together with our community of social entrepreneurs, FEC forges relationships across public and private sectors to serve low-income consumers, transform small producers’ economic opportunities and leverage assets for the poor.

Providing access to financial services

Kapilananda Mondal is providing safe and convenient savings and loan opportunities for poor and low-income households and businesses in rural areas of Bengal. Kapilananda is moving beyond traditional approaches to microfinancing by introducing microbanking, which provides a greater range of services for villagers and creates a stronger financial infrastructure that once only existed for middle class citizens through established banks. More

Investing in technology to stimulate rural economies

Indian Fellow Paul Basil uses a venture capital investment model to identify promising rural innovations, develop them into enterprises and enable their diffusion through commercial and noncommercial ventures. His investments have yielded local inventions that present low-cost alternatives to ineffective farming technologies that support an agricultural and economic transformation. More

Facilitating access to income through factory-based daycare

Suraiya Haque has introduced the concept of workplace-based daycare to Bangladesh, enabling poor working mothers to gain access to income and employment. Through her organization, Phulki, Suraiya has persuaded garment factory owners to provide low-cost childcare centers in their factories by demonstrating that workers become more loyal and productive when they have decent childcare. At the same time, women gain better access to employment and children get better care. More