What is a Social Entrepreneur?

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.

Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps.

Social entrepreneurs often seem to be possessed by their ideas, committing their lives to changing the direction of their field. They are both visionaries and ultimate realists, concerned with the practical implementation of their vision above all else.

Each social entrepreneur presents ideas that are user-friendly, understandable, ethical, and engage widespread support in order to maximize the number of local people that will stand up, seize their idea, and implement with it. In other words, every leading social entrepreneur is a mass recruiter of local changemakers—a role model proving that citizens who channel their passion into action can do almost anything.

Over the past two decades, the citizen sector has discovered what the business sector learned long ago: There is nothing as powerful as a new idea in the hands of a first-class entrepreneur.

לוגו ארגון אשוקה


Kikar Ashoka is an online community of action that connects people to share ideas, inspire and mentor each other, and find and support the best ideas in social innovation.

The Kikar is based on the Ashoka Changemakers platform. Changemakers is among the world’s most robust laboratories for launching, refining, and scaling ideas for solving the world’s most pressing social problems. At every level of engagement – from enthusiastic newcomers to experienced social entrepreneurs to corporate executives looking for promising ventures, the site engages individuals who want to make change happen and helps connect them to solutions that address the issues they care about. Changemakers builds on Ashoka’s™ three decades of identifying and selecting leading social entrepreneurs and its goal of an “Everyone a Changemaker” global society.

Through inspiring stories and discussions, the community advances ideas for change in areas as diverse as sanitation and government transparency, young men at risk and food security, rural development and health care innovation.

Participants in online competitions compete to surface the most promising solutions, and then collaborate to refine, enrich, and implement them. Changemakers has launched over twenty collaborative competitions – open source contests that invite entries from all over the globe to vie for profile and cash prizes. All proposals are posted online and open to the community – to review, comment, advise, and find collaborators and supporters. Expert moderators keep the conversation lively, providing invaluable transparent feedback for entrants.

Competition sponsors find brilliant ideas to support and invest in. Among the Changemakers partners in recent Collaborative Competitions are National Geographic, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nike, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Citibank.

Since 2004, Changemakers competitions have surfaced approximately 5,000 high-impact solutions from over 145 countries. They have attracted approximately $30 million in post-competition investment for innovators around the globe.

And they have yielded unexpected and invaluable connections and collaborations. Innovators learn from one another, improve their own model, and connect with previously unknown partners.

These kinds of collaborations also thrive in Changemakers groups, forums for people working on similar issues and solutions, where support and mentorship can happen all day, every day. And Changemakers inspiring stories highlight the innovations that are breaking molds and the individuals and organizations that make them happen.