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Ashoka, named after the ancient Indian emperor who embraced social change and innovation, is a global organization dedicated to identifying and supporting social entrepreneurs who are leading the charge for positive transformation. Founded in 1980 by Bill Drayton, Ashoka has pioneered the concept of social entrepreneurship and continues to be a driving force in the world of changemakers.

Vision and Mission
Ashoka’s vision is a world where everyone is a changemaker. They believe in a society where individuals are equipped with the skills and mindset to address pressing social and environmental challenges. To achieve this vision, Ashoka’s mission is to build and cultivate a community of leading social entrepreneurs who drive system-level change.

Identifying and Supporting Changemakers
At the heart of Ashoka’s work is the rigorous selection of social entrepreneurs, known as Ashoka Fellows. These visionary individuals have developed innovative solutions to complex social problems and have demonstrated the ability to effect systemic change Ashoka provides Ashoka Fellows with a stipend, professional support, access to a global network, and a platform to share their ideas and successes. Through mentorship and collaboration, Ashoka helps these changemakers scale their impact and drive social and environmental progress.

Key Initiatives
Ashoka’s work extends across a wide range of fields, including education, healthcare, environment, and human rights. Some of their key initiatives include:

Youth Venture: Empowering young changemakers by providing them with the resources and support to launch and lead their initiatives.

Changemakers Schools: Transforming education systems by nurturing empathy, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills in students.

Women’s Social Leadership: Fostering female changemakers and advocating for gender equity in social entrepreneurship.

Ashoka U: Partnering with universities and colleges to embed social innovation and changemaking into higher education.

Globalizer: Accelerating the impact of leading social entrepreneurs by connecting them with the resources and knowledge needed for system change.


Ashoka has been instrumental in promoting the concept of social entrepreneurship and has supported over 3,800 Ashoka Fellows in over 90 countries. These changemakers have initiated projects and organizations that have impacted millions of lives by addressing issues such as poverty, healthcare, education, and environmental sustainability.

Ashoka’s approach not only focuses on individual initiatives but also seeks to create a broader culture of changemaking. They believe that when everyone is equipped to be a changemaker, the world will see more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable solutions to its most pressing challenges.


Ashoka stands as a beacon of hope for a world in need of innovative solutions to its multifaceted problems. By identifying, supporting, and empowering social entrepreneurs, Ashoka is shaping a future where changemaking is not the exception but the norm. Through the tireless efforts of its global network of Ashoka Fellows, the organization continues to drive systemic change and inspire a new generation of leaders dedicated to creating a better world.