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MEDIA ALERT: Ashoka Brings Together Global Finalists to Introduce New Approaches to Economically Sustainable Change

Submitted by: Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

Categories: Business Ethics

Posted: Apr 03, 2006 – 12:00 AM EST


Ashoka logo

WHO: Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a global organization that supports the field of social entrepreneurship around the world, and Changemakers, an Ashoka Initiative that creates community through open-sourcing social solutions, host 11 finalists of Changemakers' latest on-line competition on Market-based Strategies that Benefit Low-Income Communities

Speakers will include:

  • Diana Wells, co-President of Ashoka
  • Bill Drayton, Ashoka Founder and CEO, speaking on trends in social innovations
  • Valeria Budinich, Vice President, Ashoka, speaking on market-based strategies
  • Sushmita Gosh, Changemakers Chair, speaking on sourcing social innovations by leveraging technology
  • Brief presentations by 11 finalists representing projects in 7 countries

    WHAT: An opportunity to discuss new approaches to economically sustainable change with Ashoka and 11 Changemakers finalists. Followed by a reception and interview session with individual finalists.

    WHEN: Wednesday, April 5th, 2006, 7pm

    WHERE: The National Press Club Ballroom; 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045


    Strategies leveraging market forces and business models to achieve social impact are part of an increasing trend where the borders between the business and the social sectors are blurring. Increasingly, citizen sector organizations and businesses are developing creative approaches centered on profit and positive social impact that provide enhanced opportunities for low-income individuals and their families. Entrepreneurial market-based approaches represent a tremendous potential for large-scale social impact, innovation and value creation for low-income communities, citizen sector organizations and businesses altogether.

    Harnessing the momentum of this critical issue, Changemakers launched a global online competition to bring together the most innovative solutions for Market-based Strategies that Benefit Low-Income Communities. The 13 competition finalists from both business and social sectors were selected from an impressive field of 128 participants from 38 entries.

    The finalists include:

    Business Sector Organizations:

  • Mango Tree Educational Enterprises (Uganda) manufactures innovative educational tools for schools and health centers and provides training in how to use them effectively.
  • SELCO Solar Light Private Limited (India) uses solar power to provide reliable, safe and affordable electricity for lighting and for income generating activities.
  • Sambazon (Brazil) (Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon) purchases organic, fair trade, and sustainably wild harvested Açaí Palmberry fruits in the Amazon Rainforest.
  • International Development Enterprises (India) provides low-cost micro-irrigation and water storage technologies.
  • Honey Care Africa (Kenya) works with small-scale rural producers and beekeepers by empowering them to engage beekeeping as a supplementary source of income.

    Social Sector Organizations:

  • Centre for Rural Development India Rickshaw Bank Project (India) provides a market-based opportunity for rickshaw pullers to own their rickshaws and stop paying onerous daily rent for the vehicles.
  • Waste Concern (Bangladesh) helps urban poor and low income people to take care of their own waste and create income opportunity from waste.
  • ASEMBIS (Costa Rica) delivers products and medical services in a private clinic with a high level of technology and first class professionals but the prices are 70% lower than in the private sector.
  • Mann Deshi Mahila Sah Bank Ltd (India) designs savings, credit, and micro health insurance products according to the need of rural poor women population.
  • The HealthStore Foundation (USA) employs a franchise system to target villages with inadequate access to essential medicines and underserved by the existing public and private health infrastructure.
  • SULABH (India) provides on-site sanitation units for household wastes and "pay & use" public toilets in slums and at public places like markets and bus stands.
  • Phulki (Bangladesh) implements what was known as factory based on-site childcare centers where working mothers can leave their children during the daytime for a small fee.
  • RUGMark Foundation (USA) certifies and labels handmade rugs as free of child labor, offers educational opportunities to exploited children, and builds markets for certified goods.

    About Ashoka
    Ashoka is the world's community of leading social entrepreneurs--individuals with innovative and practical ideas for addressing social needs. Since its founding in 1980, Ashoka has launched more than 1,700 leading social entrepreneurs in over 60 countries. Working with these social entrepreneurs, Ashoka builds communities of innovators who work collectively to transform society and design new ways for the social sector to become more productive, entrepreneurial and globally integrated. For more information, visit www.ashoka.org.

  • For more information, please contact:

    Phone: (703) 527-8300 x240


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