What is Ashoka?

  • Ashoka was founded in 1980 by William Drayton in Washington D.C.as a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurs.
  • In 1981the first social entrepreneurs were chosen in India.
  • Ashoka México was launched in 1987; it was the second office in Latin America.
  • In 1997, Ashoka Mexico & Central America began to select social entrepreneurs, Costa Rica was the first country, then Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
  • In 2004, creates a strategic alliance with Swiss Bank UBS in Mexico.
  • In the same year, was born Full Economic Citizenship that seeks to build bridges between civil sector and companies as a way to solve social problems.
  • In 2006, Venture initiative born in Mexico, until now has punched 320 (1600 young people) social enterprises in 15 states in partnership with 21 organizations.
  • In 2008, Ashoka Mexico & Central America chose 15 social entrepreneurs, the must in a year since its establishment.  Also in that year, Ashoka created a partnership with Gates Foundation to strengthen their programs in Africa and India.
  • In 2009, Ashoka formed a global alliance with Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), for knowledge transfer, exchange of experience between sectors and special projects.
  • In September of 2011, was launched Ashoka U initiative in Mexico in order to support universities to reach global standards of excellence in social entrepreneurship.


"Our job is not to give people fish, it's not to teach them how to fish, it's to build new and better fishing industries." Bill Drayton, Founder & President of of Ashoka


Main awards, honors and informative spaces:

  • More than 300 social entrepreneurs with innovate ideas and high impact in Mexico & Central America with financial resources and support services to promote their projects in areas like: human rights, citizen participation, environment, education, health and economic development.
  • 1600 young social entrepreneurs in Mexico trained with entrepreneurial skills, participating in projects that improve their community though Youth Venture.
  • Support for more than 250 low income women between 18 and 65 years.
  • Support to 350 landfill scavengers of Baja California Norte.
  • Support for more than 400 small farmers with some training about technical and business issues.
  • Over 10 civil society organizations linked with private sector projects helping vulnerable populations.
  • Presence in more than 40 media.

Ashoka is not only working with social entrepreneurs but is also empowering changemaker communities by spreading the skills of entrepreneurship with business entrepreneurs, corporations, government agencies, young people and universities to create a new reality. Each of Ashoka's programs bring our vision of Everyone a Changemaker closer to reality.