Vol. 11 (2022): Global Trends in Social Entrepreneurship: Developments in a COVID-19 World
In achieving the Social Innovations mission we again have partnered with Ashoka to bring you the latest trends in social entrepreneurship globally. The Social Innovations Journal is dedicated to social innovators and entrepreneurs who work at the cross-section between the private sector, government, and not-for-profits and aligns them toward collective social impact and public policy goals.
In 2018 Ashoka partnered with the Social Innovations Journal to curate a whole issue on the latest trends in the field of Social Entrepreneurship. The issue, titled "From Social Entrepreneurship to Everyone a Changemaker – 40 Years of Social Innovation”, was based on evidence which had emerged from a study open to all Ashoka Fellows, comprised of quantitative and qualitative data.
Three years later, a pandemic has brought the whole world, perhaps for the first time in history, to experience the same social problem practically at the same time. The severity, scale and simultaneity of the challenge was unprecedented, and it shook the field of social entrepreneurship, much like every other field.
"Everyone a Changemaker”, the belief that empathy and changemaking are the building blocks for a society where solutions outrun problems, has had a global stress-test. Some social entrepreneurs saw their sources of income collapsed, some others an unparalleled opportunity to grow their impact. The use of technology leapt almost overnight. Its potential to aide human development became clearer, as well as the difference in access to technology became more visible and acute. The potential threat to privacy and democracy also emerged stronger.
In response, Ashoka, the largest network in the world of social entrepreneurs and changemakers, decided to run another study among its Fellows, to take stock of what is happening in the field considering these pressing developments. In April 2021, Ashoka launched its Ashoka Fellows Study, comprised of a survey that went out to all fellows and was completed by over 800 social entrepreneurs, from 80 different countries. The study was run in partnership with Tiresia, the Business School of the Polytechnic of Milan, Italy. In May and June 2021, in-depth interviews were carried out with 32 randomly selected social entrepreneurs representing different geographies, fields of work, genders and years of activity.
This edition of the Social Innovations Journal titled: "Global Trends in Social Entrepreneurship: Developments in a COVID-19 World" presents the results and insights based on the study. Insights include implications relevant to business sector, tech, young people, women, DEI as well as social entrepreneurs and those who support them. We encourage you to read all the articles in the journal as outlined below.
We would like to thank all those who made the 2021Ashoka Impact Study, and this follow-up journal volume, possible: Diana Wells and Alexandra Ioan for your leadership; Faith Rotich, Alyssa Matteucci, Somerset Gall and Meghana Parik for your support; Veronica Chiodo, Mario Calderini and their team at the Polytechnic of Milan for their valuable partnership. A special thank you to the fellows for participating in this study with generosity and honesty. Your inspirational leadership guides us at Ashoka, as well as many others around the world.
Alessandro Valera, Edition Curator and Global Impact & Evidence Team - Europe, Ashoka Italy Founder
Nicholas Torres, Co-Founder, Social Innovations Journal