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New Allies: How INGOs and Social Entrepreneurs Collaborate To transform Global Development


Downloadable/printable .pdf document


June 2023


The Report was a co-creation between Ashoka Africa and Ashoka Europe.

  • Georg Schön (Leadership Team, Ashoka Europe)
  • Ifeyinwa Egwaoje (Fellowship Director, Ashoka Africa)
  • Stéphanie Schmidt (Partnership Director, Ashoka Africa)
  • Vincent Otieno Odhiambo (Regional Director, Ashoka East Africa)
  • Perrine de le Court (Country Director Ashoka Belgium)
  • Daniela de Carvalho Matielo (Executive Director, Ashoka Changemakers, Ashoka Peer to Peer and One Community Team)
  • Olivier Fruchaud (Ashoka Changemakers Company Team)
  • Loic van Cutsem (Partnerships and Scaling Manager, Ashoka)
  • Nassir Katuramu (Venture Manager, Ashoka East Africa)

Partner Organisations
Austrian Development Agency, Care and Catalyst 2030

Report Summary

In “New Allies: How INGOs and Social Entrepreneurs Collaborate to transform Global Development?”, Ashoka calls attention to the largely untapped potential of collaborations between social entrepreneurs and big International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) to scale impact and drive systemic change. INGOs and social entrepreneurs bring unique and complementary value to their collaborations. The report showcases successful collaborations and how partnership challenges can be overcome.

We have identified 14 actions that INGOs, social entrepreneurs, funders, and intermediaries (organizations that support social entrepreneurs) can take to unlock the potential of these collaborations and systemic social innovation. They can advance the international development sector toward more inclusive, localized, and co-created action.

There is relatively little research on how INGOs collaborate with social entrepreneurs to catalyze new and innovative strategies for tackling pressing global issues, but a clear urgency to understand and support the role of INGOs in driving social innovation in collaboration with social entrepreneurs.

This report’s insights are based on interviews with 35 social entrepreneurs and innovation leaders, mostly from INGOs such as CARE International or Save the Children. In addition, we surveyed 29 social entrepreneurs, and held round tables, workshops, and informal discussions with many social innovators on the issue that informed the report. The focus on Africa arose from a multi-year collaboration between Ashoka and CARE International. We believe its findings can be applied universally.

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