5 NGOs That Inspire Social Entrepreneurs

In their bid to find innovate solutions for overarching social problems, social entrepreneurs are backed by several socially-conscious individuals and organizations. Here’s a list of five not-for-profit organizations that have been inspiring social entrepreneurs to create and sustain positive social change.

Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

Founded by Bill Drayton in 1981, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public is the brainchild of the “godfather of social entrepreneurship” himself. Headquartered in Virginia, USA, the NGO was established to identify and support social entrepreneurs and has since then inspired social entrepreneurs from over the world to give their best.

It started with an initial social venture capital of $50,000 and today, supports more than 3,000 entrepreneurs from over 70 countries. The social entrepreneurs are elected as “Ashoka Fellows”. The first Fellow was elected in India in the founding year.

The NGO works to build a world where everyone is a changemaker –a world where each individual has the power to make a difference in his/her own way. With 29 offices around the globe that recognise and support entrepreneurs through initiatives like the Ashoka U, Empathy, Changemakers, Globalizer, Full Economic Citizenship and Youth Venture, Ashoka has been the inspiration of several social entrepreneurs.

Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Foundation was founded in 1999 in California and has been facilitating the connection and celebration of innovators and social entrepreneurs committed to solving the most pressing problems of the world. Its ‘Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship’ has been driving social entrepreneurs to trigger and sustain, positive social changes. 

The NGO runs a world forum at Oxford and another online, to connect social entrepreneurs of the world. It celebrates their initiatives through the documentaries and short films like “New Heroes” and “Uncommon Heroes”, to name a few.

Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

The Schwab Foundation has been providing regional, national and global platforms for the promotion of social entrepreneurship since its inception in 1998 in Geneva, Switzerland. The NGO holds social entrepreneurs an “important catalyst” for social innovation and progress and inspires them to foster social change.

The Foundation promotes peer-to-peer thought exchange and facilitates community building for social entrepreneurs. Its Forum of Young Global Leaders and the Global Agenda Councils as well as the scholarships and funding for individuals, organizations and companies dedicated to bringing about societal change and progress are at the heart of the global social-entrepreneurship scene.

National Social Entrepreneurship Forum 

Five years ago, the National Social Entrepreneurship Forum was founded in India to support youth-driven social entrepreneurship and innovations. In association with other social-entrepreneurship promoting NGOs like the Ashoka, the organization has undertaken extensive training and social entrepreneurial activities in schools and colleges across the country and remains a source of inspiration for those who want to drive a positive change in the society

Echoing Green

Echoing Green‘s financial and strategic support for social entrepreneurs with ideas that can change the world has been the inspiration of several individuals who lack the resources to set up new organizations to further their work.

The globally-operating NGO that is headquartered in NYC, enables social entrepreneurs to set up organizations and confront socio-economic as well as political inequalities prevalent in the society. Since 1987, when it was founded, the organization has funded more than 450 social entrepreneurs in over 40 countries and invested over $27 million – inspiring them to make basic human and civil rights available to all.

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