Ashoka and Bill Drayton- The leading figure of social innovation

‘The life purpose of the true social entrepreneur is to change the world.’ The founder of the groundbreaking organization called ‘Ashoka’ Bill Drayton once said. According to him, social entrepreneurs seek to tackle social problems in order to make a better world. This is the reason why he has named his groundbreaking organization as ‘Ashoka’. It is driven from the exact name ‘Ashoka the great’, who was the emperor of Maurya dynasty. Bill Drayton and Ashoka believe that the fact that Ashoka the great has changed his personality from merciless nature to an individual promoting peace is a framework for the motif of the organization.

Ashoka’s main approach towards social change is by identifying key social entrepreneurs or potential social entrepreneurs and investing money to them. They describe these kinds of entrepreneurs as ‘changemakers’ and offer professional support to the changemakers they have identified. For instance, they offer a service called ‘Ashoka Fellows’, who works for the organization and provide ideas and initiatives to potential social entrepreneurs. Currently, more than 3000 social entrepreneurs have registered to Ashoka organization. The organization aims to enlarge this number so that they can ultimately meet its ethos as an organization that encourages every single individual to be a social entrepreneur.

Not only the key individuals they are focusing, but Ashoka also highlights the need to tackle social problems by helping out social sector. Since Ashoka firmly believes that communication is a key in solving social problems, they build infrastructures that enable different individuals and organizations to communicate with each other. They want every and all-social entrepreneurs to be informationalized about the current social issues as well as the method that others use to tackle these problems. To facilitate their ethos further, they help out and collaborate with social enterprises or organizations such as Youth Venture, Nutrients for All, Law for All and Full Economic Citizenship. In particular, youth venture shares similar aspects with Ashoka, as youth venture also seek to find young people who are eager for startups.

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