Ashoka, the world’s largest non-profit networking organisation for social entrepreneurs, is opening its doors in the Netherlands. PwC and Van Lanschot have joined as founding partners of the platform.
Worldwide Ashoka is committed to a better and more sustainable society. The organisation has long established its reputation – founded in 1980, Ashoka currently has offices in 38 countries. The organisation runs global campaigns such as supporting ‘Full Economic Citizenship’ and its ‘Social Financial Services’ programme – aimed at reaching and improving the living conditions of the world’s vulnerable and disconnected people.
The organisation finds, selects and supports social innovators that have new and scalable solution for social problems, and appoints them ‘Ashoka Fellows’. They thereafter play an important role in the realisation of CSR targets. Globally, there are around 3,000 Ashoka Fellows, with each having contributed well known innovations such as the Global Press Institute, Wikipedia and KIVA. The organisation engages with change makers from diverse backgrounds, including Fellow Kailash Satyarthi – winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace prize – for his efforts championing equal rights to education for girls. The Netherlands too boasts two such fellows: Dennis Karpes (Dance4Life, NAGA Foundation) since 2009 and Lucas Simons (Director of consultancy ScopeInsight) since 2013.
With the arrival of Ashoka in the Netherlands, social entrepreneurs will be provided access to a global network of expertise, knowledge and forms of financing. Besides which, Ashoka will provide foreign social entrepreneurs with support for developing their projects in the Netherlands.
Accounting and consulting firm PwC and Dutch bank Van Lanschot have joined Ashoka as founding partners, and have thereby an important (financial) role in the entry of the non-profit network organisation to the market. “We are happy that with the help of our partners Van Lanschot and PwC, we are able to stimulate the themes of social entrepreneurship and social awareness,” reflects Jamy Goewie, Director of Ashoka The Netherlands. Worldwide, Ashoka has three strategic partners – McKinsey & Company, Corporate Executive Board and Latham and Watkins – and per country dozens of local partners.
Peter van Mierlo, Chairman of PwC, adds: “PwC considers the rise of social entrepreneurs an important development. We therefore want to use our knowledge and expertise to help put the sector on the map and increase the social impact of social enterprises. This is why we wholeheartedly support the arrival of Ashoka in the Netherlands.”