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Leading Social Entrepreneurs

Ashoka builds, connects and amplifies a global community that is leading the everyone a changemaker movement. We now live in an everything-changing world. This fact requires everyone to be able to contribute to and adapt to change, i.e., to be a changemaker, to be able to participate in and contribute. Based on the insights from our work with more than 3,500 of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs in more than 93 countries, Ashoka has an experience-based framework of empathy, teamwork, new leadership and changemaking that is the new foundation for living and working together.

Ashoka uses a rigorous, highly-refined, five-step process to identify the most important emerging social change ideas and the entrepreneurs behind them who, together, will redefine their fields, be it human rights or the environment or any other area of human need.

Once Fellows are elected, Ashoka makes sure that they have the supports and full freedom—including the ability to work full-time—they need to launch their visions and succeed. This includes providing a launch stipend to the degree it is needed for an average of three years, organizing a wide range of high-leverage supports, and—most importantly—engaging them in a local-to-global collaborative fellowship of their peers.

By continuing to develop our extensive network of Fellows, Ashoka works to share the wisdom of these leading social entrepreneurs with a global audience. Our Fellows’ work exposes the world’s most urgent and critical needs. Ashoka looks for patterns in these fields, investigates them to gain new insights, and then mobilizes social entrepreneurs to collaborate and expand in the needed areas.


Full versions of the stories below appear in the 2018 edition of "Leading Social Entrepreneurs" (LSE) which features a selection of just a few of the Ashoka Fellows recently brought into the largest global network of social entrepreneurs. The LSE presents some of the newest innovations by leading social entrepreneurs whose ideas are changing the way things are done all over the world.

We invite you to support Ashoka by sharing these stories and helping us continue to find and invest in the next generation of systems-changing social entrepreneurs.

Rita Melifonwu - Stroke Action Nigeria

Rita used her nursing experience and tenacity to launch Stroke Action Nigeria to change outcomes for people in a region with one of the highest stroke rates in the world.
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Tracey Chambers - The Clothing Bank

Tracey Chambers created “upskilling and business launch hubs” in the three largest metro areas in South Africa—Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
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Sebastian Groh - ME SOLshare

Sebastian Groh is bringing electricity to rural villages in Bangladesh, giving households the ability to buy and sell electricity through his energy trading platform.
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Gaël Musquet - Hackers Against Natural Disasters

Surviving Hurricane Hugo as a child eventually drove Gaël Musquet to create a citizen-led approach to disaster management.
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Wala Kasmi - YouthDecides

Wala Kasmi has helped open the political system for young Tunisians. She is also enabling them to turn their skills as digital natives into jobs and prosperity.
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Martin Aufmuth - OneDollarGlasses

Teacher Martin Aufmuth invented a machine in his laundry room that can make a complete pair of eyeglasses in twelve minutes.
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Cynthia Ong - Forever Sabah

Cynthia Ong is creating an equitable, diversified, and circular economy in Sabah on the island of Borneo—one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.
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Fagan Harris - Baltimore Corps

Fagan Harris is reimagining the changemaker talent pipeline for Baltimore and similar post-industrial cities struggling to recruit and retain top talent.
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Mehmet Atakan Foça - Teyit

Turkish journalist Atakan Foça is creating tools, spaces, and infrastructure for citizens to hold media institutions accountable to the verifiable truth.
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Jessica Sager - All Our Kin

Jessica Sager is closing the opportunity gap that denies many children nurturing, quality care early in life.
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Kenji Hayashi - FoundingBase

Kenji Hayashi is rejuvenating depopulated rural areas in Japan by creating pathways for emerging urban professionals to build their careers—and lives—in rural municipalities.
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Carlo Stasolla - Associazione 21 Luglio

Working at institutional, community & civil society levels to show that Europe’s most marginalized population is worthy of basic human rights, social services and respect.
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Bjorn Low - Edible Garden City

Bjorn Low is leading a grow-your-own-food movement that shows Singaporeans how urban farming results in self-sufficiency, better food waste management, and closer communities.
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Amgad Morgan - Nabd El Hayat Foundation

Amgad Morgan is mobilizing blood donors, connecting them to people needing blood, & systematically identifying & treating individuals with blood diseases.
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Lauren McNamara - The Recess Project

Helping elementary schools replace harmful recess patterns with new approaches that help children grow socially and emotionally, not least by helping one another grow.
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Tom Ravenscroft - Enabling Enterprise

Ashoka Fellow Tom Ravenscroft proves that “soft” skills are as relevant as literacy and math in preparing today’s students for the workforce and beyond.
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Shreen Saroor - Women’s Action Network (WAN)

Creating a cadre of young women who are bringing new solutions to overcome the socio-cultural inequalities that have prevented women from exercising full citizenship.
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Mabel Torres - BIOINNOVA

Mabel Torres stimulates sustainable economic development in biodiverse areas by connecting ancestral knowledge, science, and entrepreneurship to create a “bioeconomy.”
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Sachin Jain - Vikas Samvad Samiti

Sachin Jain is persuading journalists in India to produce investigative journalism that impacts major social problems.
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José Shabot Cherem - Construyendo y Creciendo (Building and Growing)

José Shabot Cherem breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and displacement that affects construction workers in Mexico.
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Mariana Niembro - Borde Político

Mariana Niembro is creating a new culture in Mexican politics by harnessing innovative digital tools to increase transparency & strengthen democracy.
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