The Impact Programme: Ashoka's Accelerator Programme in Partnership with Accenture
In Partnership with Accenture
What is the Impact Programme?
The Impact Programme is an accelerator for high-potential social entrepreneurs. Too often, social entrepreneurs are so involved in the daily management of their organisations that they can't find the time to reflect on their development strategies. Through a four-month process of training and mentorship, Ashoka's Impact Programme helps social entrepreneurs to take a step back and build a sustainable business model around them so that their solutions can ultimately have a greater impact on society.
Since 2013, Ashola Belgium has teamed up with Accenture to provide pro-bono consulting for the Impact Programme. Ashoka is a strategic partner of Accenture's Skills to Succeed program. Thanks to this partnership, more than 30 entrepreneurs in the fields of economic development, job creation, health, education, human rights and environment have received customised, hands-on training and mentorship.
Have a look at this inspiring article Accenture has recently published on "Why Businesses can be Changemakers"!
The 2018 Impact Programme
Last year marked the 4th edition of Ashoka Belgium's Impact Programme and it was focused on the challenges of integration and employment. Following a call for projects, eleven social entrepreneurs were selected to benefit from free personalised support for four months (from January to May).
Each social entrepreneur was matched with a business expert who coached them on a weekly basis for four months, helping them to reflect on the professionalisation of their project. During multiple seminars based on the "7 Key Questions for Social Entrepreneurs" guide by Ashoka, the participants explored impact in management, new ways of financing their organisations, and many other crucial topics related to growing a successful social entreprise.
The 10 participant projects of 2018:
- Balance HR
- Nature VZW
- Haven Coop
- Refu Interim
- Mobiel 21
- We and Work
- The Good Lobby
The Winners of 2018
After 4 months of intense coaching and three seminars, the 2018 Impact Programme came to an end. Last year's eleven participants gathered at the Final Jury event to present the results of the journey they went through.
Participants pitched their project to the jury and to the audience, made up of Ashoka's network from across sectors. The winners of the programme were:
- The Good Lobby won the "Ready to Scale" prize, a 100 working days of pro bono consultancy offered by Accenture.
- Mobiel 21 won the "Expand your Horizon" prize, a tailor-made 10-day programme in the United States to meet relevant experts and potential partners.
- Refu Interim won the public prize "Brand your Story", a tailor-made communication and marketing support delivered by Atolo and Voice Agency.
What is the most valuable aspect of the program for you?
"The solid belief that there's a possible solution for every problem. If you look at it from the right angle and listen to the people experiencing the problem, there is always a way forward. Next top that, I found it really interesting and enriching to meet and exchange with peers who are working in a completely different field. But maybe, the most valuable thing I learnt is that social entrepreneurship is being taken seriously and that it is serious business." Jan Christiaens, Mobiel 21.