Social Finance

Social Finance.png

“Literally one of the most useful tools I have come across as a social entrepreneur!”

(Ashoka Fellow on the Social Investment Toolkit)




Apply to the 2020 edition of this Module:




To scale up their impact, change leaders require access to affordable finance. They must learn how to navigate hybrid financing approaches in order to unlock untapped sources of funding.

During our long experience working with change leaders, we have observed both their challenges and their success stories when it comes to raising social finance. We want to share with you all our best insights and learnings in creating blended finance raising strategies as well as investment offers that appeal to both commercial and social investors. We also want to create a co-learning space to empower change leaders, funders and other key actors around the topic of social finance.



The offer:

This module offers one online webinar in November 2019 and two in-depth, 2-day workshops in January and May 2020, as well as dedicated materials and resources for further learning. Participants can apply to either the webinar or one of the in-person training or to both the webinar and one of the in-person trainings according to the location and date that best suits them.


Online Webinar: November 20th 2019 from 9.00 - 10.30 am CET​: live session: introduction + Q&A

This webinar will provide introductory material to explore raising investment based on the Social Investment Toolkit. It aims to make Fellows understand what it means to raise funds and to have the opportunity to ask specific questions after exploring the Social Investment Toolkit.

The Social Investment Toolkit was launched by Mark Cheng in 2016 with the support of UBS, to guide any social entrepreneur through the process of raising social investment and pitching to social investors. This toolkit reflects over a decade of work at Ashoka, helping social entrepreneurs successfully navigate the complex task of raising finance. The Social Investment Toolkit can be previewed here:


2-day In Person Workshops:

Please note: Applications are closed for these Social Finance workshops. Sign up to our Newsletter to stay in touch and take your chance to participate in next year's program!

  • 31st of January and 1st of February, 2020 in Bucharest, Romania
  • 21st and 22nd of May, 2020 in Madrid, Spain
    Due to the coronavirus development in Europe, the second 2-day workshop will be transformed into an online experience (happening on the same days).

    All updates and information about changes due to the coronavirus can be found in this information PDF and in this blogpost (will be both updated regularly).


These workshops will occur over the course of two days. The first day is an introduction to social finance, whereas the second day is a ‘deep dive’ into helping the fellows prepare their investment proposals and pitch and exploring the key steps of raising finance (eg: business model, must have earned income, donation, insights, assess whether it makes sense to raise donation or investment, etc).

Fellows who just want to learn if social finance is right for them can attend only the first day.

Please note that these two workshops will present the same content. We organise them in two locations to accommodate our geographically widespread Fellows in Europe.



Who can apply:

The content for this module is curated for Ashoka Fellows with a limited number of seats for Ashoka Support Network members.

If you are if you are a member of the Ashoka Support Network, partner or key ecosystem player to Ashoka, please apply through the dedicated button or refer to the Partner With Us page: we will be happy to co-create ways to offer this content to you and your stakeholders.


Online webinar:

The online webinar is open to a maximum of 15 Ashoka Fellows.

2-day workshops:

  • 15 ASN members, partners or other key ecosystem players who are interested in learning more about social finance and getting an overview of the Social Investment Toolkit are also welcome. Places are limited, so apply soon.
  • The 2-day workshops are open to a maximum of 15 Ashoka Fellows.
  • The workshop is only open to Ashoka Fellows who participated in the online course in December. However, for Fellows who are at a more advanced stage in terms of social finance or already in the process of raising investment, will have access to the 2-day workshop and don’t have to attend the online webinar.
  • We would love to welcome 15 ASN members, partners or other key ecosystem players who want to join the workshop as advisors and social finance experts that will provide feedback to the Fellows on their strategies for greater social impact. Places are limited, so please take a look at our Partner With Us page and apply soon.



  • Ashoka Fellows: The program is open and participation is free for all Ashoka Fellows in Europe. Travel and accommodation costs are not covered.*

  • Ashoka Support Network members: Members of the Ashoka Support Network also join for free, subject to a selection process. Find out more about the Ashoka Support Network here.

  • Other Partners and Change Leaders: The cost of the module is €2'000. You can require a stipend for your participation, indicating it in the application form.


*In case you require a travel stipend to participate – encompassing flight or accommodation – please indicate in the registration. We have limited travel stipends for participants in need, so please evaluate and request a stipend only if financial reasons hinder your participation.



Apply to the 2020 edition of this Module:

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