Scaling up social innovations: Insights from the Ashoka Network

About the event
What does Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyharti, founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, and Lily Lapenna teacher of household economy to children have in common? They are all Ashoka Fellows and they represent the new entrepreneur –who solves social problems with market strategies. They are Social Entrepreneurs.

Ashoka Fellows are leading the way, demonstrating how market strategies can be used to address social challenges by overcoming critical barriers. To support these innovations, social entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to earned-revenue models that complement traditional forms of philanthropic funding. The promise of social finance to accelerate these innovations by leveraging philanthropic funding, engaging new players, and mobilizing new pools of capital has created an excitement about investing in social change. The potential and promise of a social finance solution does not come without its barriers.

Date and time: May 20th 2015, 16.00-18.00
Location: Smålandsgatan 20, ”Chikanen”, Floor 5

Topics include

  • The role of investment for social businesses
  • The range of business models and financing solutions currently offered in the market
  • The financing gap identified by Ashoka Hybrid Finance
  • How to combine investment and philanthropy


Mark Cheng, Director at Ashoka Europe
Mark is the Director of Ashoka Europe, as well as Ashoka’s senior advisor on social finance, a role sponsored by international law firm Hogan Lovells. Since joining Ashoka originally as an ASN member in 2007, he has assisted many Fellows in raising investent for social causes, in areas including micro-finance, renewable energy, conservation, healthcare and education. Mark is also advisor to several international Ashoka initiatives such as Globalizer, a program for Fellows expanding their work into multiple countries. Mark is founding Director of Chelwood Capital, a social investment firm that supports mission-driven organizations. He has more than 15 years experience in finance, having previously worked at Deutsche Bank and AMBAC Assurance. He serves as Board Member and Trustee for several social enterprises and is a business mentor for the Emerge Venture Lab, an incubator for UK student social ventures.

Sofia Appelgren, Founder of Mitt Liv & Ashoka Fellow
In the close-knit culture of Sweden, corporate hiring operates on networking, personal relationships, and references. To a large degree, immigrant communities do not have access to these resources. Sofia Appelgren has launched a program that matches the most dynamic and entrepreneurial persons with Swedish entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. Beginning in Gothenburg on Sweden’s West Coast, the program has now spread to Stockholm, Linköping, Norrköping and will soon open in Malmö.

Josephine Korjin, Ashoka Hybrid Finance Initiative
Josephine joined Ashoka in August 2013 to work with the Social Finance team, specifically on creating the Social Business Accelerator. She graduated with honors from Brown University with a B.A. in Development Studies, focusing her thesis research on the UK social finance field. She has previously worked at SharedImpact, which provides financial intermediation services for the range of stakeholders in the social investment field. She also founded the SEEED student steering committee to organize an annual conference that brings social enterprise support organizations across the US together to share best practice.

Servering of drinks and a lighter snack. The seminar will be held in English.

Ashoka Scandinavia 
Ashoka is a global community of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Since 1981 Ashoka has elected over 3,000 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with stipends, professional support and access to a global network in more than seventy countries. 2012 we opened our Scandinavia office in Stockholm.

Vinge Advokatbyrå KB 
Vinge is Sweden’s leading, full-service business law firm with approximately 450 employees. Vinge has been a pro bono partner to Ashoka Scandinavia since 2012.


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