Selection Criteria

What is the criteria to select an Ashoka Fellow?

Ashoka has established and refined a rigorous selection process to identify and elect the most innovative social entrepreneurs, with the greatest probability of achieving large-scale social impact.

Ashoka’s selection process carefully screens nominees for:

  • An innovative idea, capable of generating systemic change
  • Potential for high social impact
  • Creativity in Problem Solving
  • Entrepreneurial Quality
  • Ethical Fiber

Do you have the characteristics of a leading Social Entrepreneur?

1) A New Idea

Are you possessed by a truly new idea for solving a public need? Is it a truly transformational innovation, or just a tweaking of how things are now done? How is it different from what others do in this field?

2) Creativity in Problem Solving

Are you creative – both in vision/ goal setting and in problem solving? How creatively do you approach opportunities and obstacles – be they organizational or political? Do you create original solutions?

3) Entrepreneurial Quality

Are you so committed to your vision that it is impossible for you to rest until the vision becomes the new pattern across society? Are you willing to spend years relentlessly grappling with a myriad of practical "how to" challenges (how to get to national scale, how to make the pieces fit together, etc.)?

4) Social Impact of Ideas

Is the idea likely to solve an important social problem at the national level or beyond? Is the idea itself sufficiently new, practical, and useful that people working in the field will adopt it once it has been demonstrated? If this is, how many people will be affected? How much will they benefit?

5) Ethical Fiber

Are you totally honest? Would people instinctively trust you? Is your motivation deeply and firmly rooted in a commitment to serve others?

Know a Social Entrepreneur?

Nominate a Fellow here. 

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