Why Support Us? WE ARE BRINGING TOGETHER THE WORLD’S TOP SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS TO LEAD THIS EFFORT Greg Van Kirk is the Co-Founder of CES (Community Enterprise Solutions), a former investment banker, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, and the 2012 Schwab Social Entrepreneur for Latin America.
Jean Claude Rodríguez-Ferrera is the Founder of ACAF (Association for SelfFunded Communities) and recipient of the 2009 Best European Microfinance Prize, awarded by the European Microfinance Network .
CES creates jobs by giving local people opportunities to become entrepreneurs who sell essential technologies in their communities through consignment, which allows them to be cash positive from day one. First piloted in Guatemala, the CES model has been replicated in other countries in Latin America, and has so far created US$2.75 million in net economic benefit among individuals with incomes of less than $2/day.
ACAF created a self-funded community model, wherein individuals pool their savings and buy shares to create a credit fund to finance themselves. As owners, they decide the loan terms and receive dividends resulting from the credit activity. It is completely self-managed and self-funded. Today, the model is present in more than 50 countries and has reached over 6 million people worldwide.
Other Ashoka Fellows engaged are: Margarita Barney (eco-technologies), Andres Randazzo (health & ecotechnologies), Francesco Piazzesi (housing), Isabel Cruz (microcredit and savings), and Rebeca Villalobos (health).
WE ARE ANCHORED ON THE PRINCIPLES AND THE EXPERIENCE OF A ROBUST GLOBAL ORGANIZATION Ashoka is the first organization to practice and actively support social entrepreneurship, and according to Forbes, it helped originate the concept of social entrepreneurship. Since 1981, Ashoka has maintained the largest network of social entrepreneurs across the world, and today it has an annual operating budget of $50+ million. Ashoka is present in 70 countries, on six continents, and brings together nearly 3,000 social entrepreneurs (Ashoka Fellows). Within 10 years of election to Ashoka, over 80% of Ashoka Fellows have changed a system at a national level and are recognized as leaders in their field; over 90% of Fellows have their ideas replicated by others. "Ashoka seeks to catalyze the citizen sector by adapting the venture capitalist approach. The idea is to search for budding innovators, to supply them seed money and to connect them in a global Fellowship." The New York Times
"Ashoka has quietly given philanthropy a new dimension: it has shown how to invest successfully in pattern-breaking, powerful ideas and the people behind them and how to do so early when a little makes an enormous difference." Peter Goldmark, Former CEO of the International Herald Tribune
"Before receiving Ashoka's support, we reached approximately 140,000 inhabitants annually; this year we are approaching four million. For me, Ashoka's help is endless ." Albina Ruiz, Ashoka Fellow from Peru
Founded by leading social entrepreneur, Bill Drayton, Ashoka maintains a rigorous, time-tested approach to identifying distinctive individuals with the uncanny ability to generate system-level transformation and to improve people’s lives. Ashoka supports nearly 3,000 Fellows in over 70 countries, helping them start and grow their ideas and impact.
Bill Drayton Voted #33 Most Influential Harvard Alumni The Harvard 100
Ashoka Selected Top 15 Charities for Investors NuWire Investor
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Ashoka Fellows Initiative in Haiti