Venture Process: Search and Selection of Fellows
The Venture Team supports Ashoka’s search and selection process for Fellows. The term ‘Venture’ implies risk or a daring undertaking that has no guarantee of success. Much like traditional business ventures, Ashoka’s Venture program does involve the risk inherent in investing in individuals and their ideas at the launch stage. In Ashoka’s case, the investment is often small, and the social change it makes possible is remarkable.
We learn of candidates for the fellowship in two main ways: we actively look for them in fields ripe for change, and our community (including you!) continuously alerts us to social entrepreneurs for whom the Ashoka Fellow route may be appropriate. The Venture Team evaluates each candidate against five Selection Criteria.
The process is long but also fruitful. In fact, many candidates describe the selection procedure as one of the most difficult but enlightening experiences of their careers. Candidates must communicate their ideas, scrutinize their methods, and reflect on themselves as individuals. Even those who do not pass believe they are better equipped to return to their projects afterwards. In this way, more than a means to an end, our selection process generates robust discussion, sharpens ideas, and focuses tremendous energy into the citizen sector and the growing field of social entrepreneurship.
From nomination to election as a Fellow, candidates go through an extensive series of in-depth interviews, a panel, and a final executive board discussion. Read more about the Selection Process.