Elders Council

The Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs

The Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs is building a global network of social entrepreneurs so that elder members can support one another and also share their wisdom across the social entrepreneur ecosystem.

Membership is open to all social entrepreneurs over the age of 55. Any social entrepreneur under 55 can become an associate member. For the Elders Council to become a non-profit organisation, charity status has been applied for.

The Elders Council is working on two main themes which will be based on a range of expertise accumulated through the years:

  • To support social entrepreneurs who are over 55: by working on systems of mutual support and solidarity.
  • To support the wider community of social entrepreneurs: To focus the wisdom of the elders for the benefit of the wider community of social entrepreneurs, offering whatever support is needed. The support could include mentoring, advice on boards,  transition and other critical challenges.   

Find more information about "Who we are" below , register in the form below if you want to work with us and dive deeper though this one-pager:

A new offer of 4 webinars: Come and join! 

As the Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs is a new venture which comes about since they see an urgent need for elders to support each other in practical matters and matters relating to their the feelings as older people, the Council offers this choice of webinars for all Fellow Elder Social Entrepreneurs: 


1. Webinar: "Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Reflection on Transition" -- on Monday, 22nd June, 5pm CET. 

Many social entrepreneurs have to think about transition often more than once in their lives. This webinar, with the light hearted title “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (grateful acknowledgment to The Clash) features Verónica Abud Cabrera of the Fundacion la Fuente and Sharath Jeevan of STIR Education, who as social entrepreneurs will be talking about their different transition journeys. Alongside them we hear from Ian Pilbeam of the company called the HR Dept Edinburgh and the Lothian Team who will talk about transitions in the corporate sector notably family firms.

Please Click here to register your interest for this webinar on June 22nd. You will receive the call-in details after registration. 

2. Webinar: "Who Are You If Not Your Organisation?" -- on Monday, 17th August, 5pm CET. 

As social entrepreneurs undertake their journey of creation and operation there is a natural tendency for the SE to become closely identified with their own organisation. This can be healthy and unhealthy in equal measure. We invite several social entrepreneurs to discuss this issue, their names to be announced.

Please Click here to register your interest for this webinar on August 17th. You will receive the call-in details after registration. 


3. Webinar: "When I'm Sixty Four: Provision In Old Age" -- on Monday, 26nd October, 5pm CET. 

With grateful acknowledgement to the Beatles famous song “When I’m Sixty Four” this webinar is all about the practical matters of ensuring that you have financial security after your departure from your organisation. It is a sad but well recognised truth that social entrepreneurs spend a lifetime in caring for their beneficiaries, but either they or their boards will not make sufficient provision for the social entrepreneurs themselves. This theme speaks about the concerns that the older person has as they enter into retirement or an alternative way of earning sufficiently to be independent of their own organisation if they so choose. Speakers to be announced.

Please Click here to register your interest for webinar on Oct 26th. You will receive the call-in details after registration. 


4. Webinar: "The Magnificent Dance: Leaving Well and Living Well" -. on Monday, 7th December, 5pm CET.

With grateful thanks to the Clash for their song the Magnificent Dance we come to understand that the Social Entrepreneur is finally leaving their organisation after many years of satisfying work. In short are they leaving well and living well? The webinar focusses on the quality of life balance for the Social Entrepreneur as they continue their journey, indeed, as the dance comes to a conclusion. Speakers to be announced.

Please Click here to register your interest for this webinar on Dec 7th. You will receive the call-in details after registration. 


The Elders Council looks forward to see you at the webinars! For any questions, please reach out to Clementine from Ashoka and to Ashoka Fellow Chris from the Elders Council. 


If you want to connect and work with us, please fill out this form:

Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs Sign-up Form

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Who we are:

To support the creation of the Elders Council, Ashoka Europe Fellowship hosted a first convening of elder social entrepreneurs at the Wellbeing "Elders Retreat" in September 2019, in Aix-en-Provence (France). That's when 10 Ashoka Fellows gathered and signed the first declaration of the new-born global network: "We, the elders from Ashoka Fellowship, pledge to work together to establish a Council of Elders to represent and support social entrepreneurs (in Ashoka) in every phase of transition." Find out more about it in the Executive Summary.


The core group and main contacts of the Elders Council for Social Entrepreneurs:

Andrea Coleman

Andrea Coleman is co-founder of Riders for Health and founder, CEO of Two Wheels for Life. Riders for Health has built systems for managing motorcycles and motorised vehicles to ensure health care is delivered – predictably and reliably - however harsh the conditions or however remote the community. Money is saved and people are employed and trained to a very high standard.  Riders works in 5 African countries - Lesotho, Nigeri
In 2013 Andrea won the Women of the Year Award, sponsored by Barclays. In 2004 she won the Sage/Daily Telegraph Best Business Leader award and in 2006 won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. Andrea was selected to join the Schwab Foundation network of social entrepreneurs in 2004 and Andrea has been a fellow of the Skoll Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship since 2005 and is now a senior fellow of Ashoka.  
‘Introducing innovations for vehicle management in Africa to deliver health care requires persistence and an impatience with the status quo. I have both in abundance’ she says.


Chris Underhill

Chris Underhill MBE is a social entrepreneur, professional mentor and a global expert on mental health delivery. In 1978 he started his first social enterprise. This is called Thrive and it is the UK organisation that uses gardening to bring about change in the lives of those living with disabilities or ill health. In 1985 he founded Action on Disability and Development (ADD) that works with disabled people in developing countries. In 1995 he was invited to be the CEO of the Intermediate Technology Development Group, now known as Practical Action and in 2000 he went on to found BasicNeeds the mental health charity working in developing countries which he retired from in 2016. Currently he is building his mentoring practice Mentor Services. Chris is a Senior Ashoka Fellow, and a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and of the Schwab Foundation award for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2000 he was honoured by HRH the Queen with an MBE for services to disability and development.



Mel Young

Mel Young MBE is an Ashoka Fellow and a serial social entrepreneur. He has founded and run several successful social enterprises including Homeless World Cup where he is President. He has worked with homeless people across the globe since 1993. His latest venture is New Ism, an organization dedicated to coming up with system change to create a fair and equitable world. He is also chairman of Sports Scotland, the national sports agency in Scotland. Author of Home Game, the story of the Homeless World Cup and he has received numerous awards.




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