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Creating sustainable impact through social entrepreneurship


For the first time, the Candriam Institute is partnering with an organisation that focuses on social entrepreneurship (see sidebar for a full description). The aim? To empower changemakers around the world to create a sustainable future.

Building a world of changemakers

Founded by American social entrepreneur Bill Drayton, Ashoka embodies a vision where everyone can be a changemaker. Drayton's encounters with individuals striving for positive change during his global travels in the 1980s inspired the creation of Ashoka - a name inspired by a Sanskrit word meaning "active absence of sorrow" and the name of an Indian emperor considered one of the world's first great social entrepreneurs.

Recognising the power of social entrepreneurs to address entrenched global challenges, the organisation identifies and supports innovative leaders, known as Fellows, who are committed to advancing high-impact solutions aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Shaping tomorrow's leaders

Ashoka's mission goes beyond financial support; it fosters collaboration, builds partnerships and mobilises communities to address societal problems. Ashoka's flagship initiative, the Fellowship Programme, has over 4,000 Fellows in more than 95 countries. Through rigorous selection criteria, Ashoka identifies emerging leaders and nonprofit organisations with innovative ideas and a proven ability to create tangible change and make a lasting impact in their communities and beyond.

Beyond supporting established leaders, Ashoka recognises the transformative potential of youth. In recent years, Ashoka has increasingly focused on empowering young change agents - the youngest Fellows are around 20 years old - through targeted programmes, building confidence in their ability to effect change from an early age.

Together, Candriam Institute and Ashoka exemplify the power of collaboration to drive sustainable solutions and empower changemakers to create a better future for all.
Yannick FischerProgram Lead at Ashoka

A synergistic alliance

Candriam Institute's decision to support Ashoka stems from a shared commitment to sustainable development and social impact. With over 40 years of experience, Ashoka's extensive network spans multiple sectors and geographic regions, providing the Institute with a unique opportunity to fund projects with immediate, real-world impact.

By aligning with Ashoka's mission, the Institute strengthens its ESG education, research and entrepreneurship pillar, complementing long-term initiatives with immediate, on-the-ground impact. Candriam Institute's initial donation will help fund environmental projects led by two Ashoka Fellows.

Looking Ahead: Advancing Sustainable Solutions

The Candriam Institute and Ashoka work together to select and support high-impact projects. By leveraging Ashoka's global network and expertise, the Institute underscores its commitment to advancing sustainability and empowering social entrepreneurs.

In the coming months, stakeholders can expect updates on the selected projects, highlighting the tangible results of this innovative partnership.

This partnership marks a milestone for the Candriam Institute and highlights the critical role of philanthropy and social entrepreneurship in addressing global challenges. Stay tuned for updates on our joint efforts with Ashoka, and be inspired by the stories of the Fellows who are transforming communities.

What is social entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship encompasses activities aimed at discovering, defining and exploiting opportunities to enrich societal well-being through innovative ventures or the innovative management of existing organisations. Simply put, it involves creating, supporting or implementing innovative solutions to address entrenched global problems.

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