Infrastructure for the Citizen Sector

In order to succeed and become sustainable, social entrepreneurs—much like business entrepreneurs—require support structures tailored to their needs. Ashoka is building an infrastructure that supports the growth and expansion of the field of social entrepreneurship, including seed financing and capital, bridges to the business and academic sectors, and strategic partnerships that deliver social and financial value.

Ashoka has long recognized the importance of collaboration with other sectors, particularly business, whose models of competition and innovation provide critical lessons for citizen organizations. Our work in this area is helping close the historical gap between the business and civil society, creating important avenues for integration and synergy between both communities.

Some of the main examples include:

(1) Ashoka Changemakers: an open, inclusive and global community of action that grows the impact of changemaking – from dedicated individuals and community organizers to major companies and global foundations - based on Open Growth: transparent collaboration and identifation, tracking, and acceleration of cutting-edge innovations.

(2) Invest In Innovation: it's Ashoka's newest (beta version) crowdfunding online platform. Anyone can invest in Ashoka Fellows, both in their living stipends and also in their organizations and collaborations among fellows.