Government Allies

New Allies: How governments can unlock the potential of social entrepreneurs for the common good

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seem further out of reach, it is clear that the need to find, fund and support transformative solutions for the challenges we are facing has grown more urgent.

In January 2020, Ashoka and McKinsey, together with Echoing Green, Schwab Foundation, Skoll Foundation and Co-Impact joined forces with systemic social entrepreneurs, united under the Catalyst 2030 banner, to produce a report that framed their endeavours: Embracing Complexity: towards a shared understanding of funding systems change.

Building on that foundation, the New Allies report explores how governments can benefit from collaborating with systemic social entrepreneurs, and the measures they can take to foster that collaboration.

The need for this report is undeniable. With multiple compounding crises to navigate simultaneously, governments across the world are coming under increased pressure to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. It is equally clear that governments will find it increasingly challenging to realise the structural changes to existing societal systems that are urgently required without the support of systemic social entrepreneurs.

Systemic social entrepreneurs develop participative, people-centric solutions and deliver innovative approaches which can be a great complement to the macro-level perspectives of governments. Systemic social entrepreneurs can be defined as transformation guides for society. They are driven not by economic profit but by the desire to make a positive impact on the world and to find innovative solutions to unsolved challenges.

Governments can act in five areas to create supportive ecosystems that unlock the potential of systems social entrepreneurs

For each of these areas, this report outlines concrete recommendations and provides real-life examples of changes that governments around the world have implemented.

Principle 1: Leverage the power of information by sharing and co-creating data.

Principle 2: Build capabilities among civil servants and systems social entrepreneurs to enable mutual understanding and collaboration.

Principle 3: Develop funding models that recognise the characteristics of systems social entrepreneurs.

Principle 4: Promote collaboration between public sector organisations and between the public, private and social sectors.

Principle 5: Foster institutionalisation by co-creating or adopting successful innovations.

Below, watch a video of Nicolas Schmit, the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, endorsing the report:


Watch a recording of the New Allies report launch to hear Catalyst 2030 partners discuss the new research and report insights:


New Allies in World Economic Forum Agenda

Social entrepreneurs, new allies for governments, can help attain equitable, lasting change. Read a summary of the new report on the World Economic Forum Agenda, written by Diana Wells of Ashoka, Victor van Vuuren of International Labour Organization, François Bonnici of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and Koen Vermeltfoort of McKinsey & Company.











To start tackling this need, Ashoka and McKinsey invited additional partners to join their annual collaboration and co-create a shared perspective:

Screen Shot 2021-05-17 at 15.35.12.png


Together, we seek to reflect on the sector’s insights to the question:

How can governments engage and collaborate with systemic social entrepreneurs to unlock the full potential of social innovation for a sustainable and more equitable future?

Ashoka Staff Contacts

Please contact Konstanze Frischen for inquires within the United States.

Please contact Odin Muehlenbein for inquires within Europe.

Are you a social entrepreneur and want to learn how to build effective alliances with governments? Check out our course: Working with Government

Sign up for our newsletter

Fellowship Europe Newsletter Sign-up form

Optional Additional Fields - DO NOT DELETE
The fields below can be dragged up and used in your form if helpful

Else they can be left alone and will remain hidden.

Do not repurpose these fields for unrelated / new purposes - create a new field instead!

These fields are already 'mapped' to the corresponding fields on the campaign member in salesforce which makes everything easier and faster.  

if you delete these fields, things will break, and you may need to rebuild your form. 

dont say we didnt warn you! 

Required Fields

required - this form is used to complete the double opt in process.   
must clone generic DOI Confirmation Form and update the URL here.

site language iso controls the language of the double opt in email. currently the text of the opt-in email cannot be altered, just the language.

iso site country on webcontact controls which list the subscriber is added to when completing double opt in

if XM_Manual is set as site country, form will use this campaign. can include multiple campaigns but it MUST END IN A COMMA. BC THATS HOW ITS SETUP!

can set member status on DOI campaign. bc sometimes you gotta do that. or at least once.

Submitting this form will sign you up for communications from Ashoka
By submitting this form, you acknowledge that your Personal Data will be processed outside the EEA as described in the Privacy Policy.