About Ashoka Switzerland

In a rapidly changing world, our societies are increasingly connected and facing common challenges. Social and environmental change is now necessary, more than ever before and it needs new mindsets and models to be effective.

Our vision is a world in which everyone is a changemaker: one in which all people are powerful and contribute to change in positive ways.

 

As part of Ashoka’s global network, in Switzerland we work to achieve our vision by supporting Social Entrepreneurs that leverage innovation to bring solutions to our raising problems. We elect these leaders as Ashoka Fellows and help them drive large-scale systemic change.

We strive to shift the global economy to be more socially responsible and respectful, for which we create meaningful collaborations with strategic actors. We also inspire young people to make change in their communities for the good of all. Ashoka mobilizes a global community to advance an “everyone a changemaker” world.

 

Ashoka pioneered the field of Social Entrepreneurship in the 1980s. We have since gained a wealth of insights by working with leading Social Entrepreneurs. Together we inspire others to be Changemakers. The Swiss office was founded in 2007. For more information, have a look at our brochure and our latest activity report. Discover our Fellows.

 

What we do

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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

We identify, support and connect the world’s leading Social Entrepreneurs. They bring innovative and system-change solutions to today’s toughest social challenges

  •          Search and selection of social entrepreneurs (Venture)

We developed an ongoing, extensive search and selection process to spot promising and innovative Social Entrepreneurs, to then elect the successful candidates as Ashoka Fellows.

  •          Support of social entrepreneurs (Fellowship)

Ashoka Fellows are granted various benefits, among which a three-year financial support and a lifetime membership into an expansive network of peers, pro-bono mentors and an ecosystem of partners.

Ashoka Fellows can access a co-learning and co-creation community along with ASN members and partners, through the European Fellowship program.

  • We often join forces with other actors to increase our impact.

For instance, in Latin America, we work with leading organisations to reduce poverty and contribute to greater economic inclusion of vulnerable groups through social entrepreneurship. Check out the report of phase 1.

  •          Social Investment Accelerator

Program that supports Social Entrepreneurs that are looking to raise investment for the first time. In 2019, we ran two accelerators in Africa: one on Climate Change and one on Agro-Business. Check out the Social Investment toolkit, developed by our Social finance director Mark Cheng with the support of UBS,  a guide to navigate the world of social finance, supporting to unlock access to funding opportunities.

We support Fellows to tackle their most pressing organization issues by matching them with J.P. Morgan employees, therefore engaging these to discover the world of social entrepreneurship and the power of cross-sector collaboration.

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UNLOCKING INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANISATIONS’ CHANGEMAKER POTENTIAL

We partner with a range of stakeholders (global foundations, universities, corporations, civil society organizations, media and other) to unlock their changemaking potential. Our partnerships are designed and co-created to be mutually beneficial. We collaborate with individuals as well as with companies, foundations, and like-minded organizations.

     It is a global community of committed leaders who share, support, and advocate for Ashoka’s values and vision, while unleashing their own potential as changemakers.

Through experiential exposure of workforce to social entrepreneurship, we partner with companies to integrate impact and innovation into key aspects of their value chain.

For example, we collaborated with Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, to advance their efforts in reducing the impact on society and on the environment. We are now focusing on Biodiversity and Children Development (for instance, we relaunched the Creating Shared Value Prize).

We connect our network of Fellows, their powerful solutions and insights on social issues, with actors from the private sector such as companies, known for their capacity to operate at a large scale, and with public institutions to tackle social challenges more effectively.

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CULTIVATING CHANGEMAKING ECOSYSTEMS

We engage in projects that are beneficial to a larger audience, that allow the general spectrum of committed actors to flourish.

Our European think-tank leverages the knowledge in our network on social issues and system-changing new ideas, and makes these insights actionable for collective solutions.

For instance, we have developing a collective around Democracy in Europe: a study was issued on the strategies adopted by 25 Fellows and we are reuniting key stakeholders to collaborate and trigger profound change around this topic.

We have partnered with C&A Foundation on a global initiative to support innovators for a fair and sustainable apparel industry. This initiative is unlocking the unique power and potential of social entrepreneurs and their solutions to advance our shared vision: transforming the apparel industry as a force for good

  •          We are working towards the replication of the Visionary Program in Switzerland.

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INSPIRING YOUNG PEOPLE

We work with youth to prepare the next generation of changemakers. This requires cultivating empathy, creativity and collaboration. Those that nurture these skills will be better equipped to thrive and lead change.

  •          We have been working with HEG Fribourg since 2016 to bring social innovation and entrepreneurship culture to higher education. More info coming soon.

Thanks to the collaboration with Swiss Re Foundation, we have partnered since 2011  with school networks, agricultural organizations, and the government to install lifelong nutrition-seeking habits within school children aged between 9 and 14.

We have partnered with the Jacobs Foundation on TRECC initiative in Ivory Coast, to catalyse different interests around the common goal of sustainable development, through quality education.

Leadership

Staff

Our partners

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Contact

Address:

Rue Rothschild 50
1202 Geneva
Switzerland