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Apply For Ashoka-UBS Social Innovators 2016 For African Entrepreneurs

About the Ashoka-UBS Social Innovators 2016 For African Entrepreneurs

Applications are currently ongoing for the Ashoka-UBS Social Innovators 2016 For African Entrepreneurs. UBS Social Innovators, a program co-designed with Ashoka is calling all Social Innovators whose social enterprise will benefit from access to the unique network and expertise of UBS, the world’s leading wealth manager.

UBS is supported by Ashoka in the design and implementation of the UBS Social Innovators program.

Ashoka is the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide with over 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 80 countries putting their system-changing ideas into practice on a global scale.


Eligible Countries

Switzerland and countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Asian Pacific

Could you be one of the 2016 UBS Social Innovators?

WHAT: Are you a Social Innovator? Would your social enterprise benefit from access to the unique network and expertise of UBS, the world’s leading wealth manager? Then you should apply to take part in UBS Social Innovators, a program co-designed with Ashoka.

WHY: At UBS we believe that the private sector has a crucial role to play in tackling society’s most pressing challenges. We also see an increasing demand from our clients to contribute to solving these challenges. And we believe that the growing social investment market can meet some of this demand. The UBS Social Innovators programme will play a role in helping to develop the growing social investment market by supporting social entrepreneurs who are addressing poorly met social needs, transforming the way societies work and generating positive social impact.

WHEN: Applications are open from now until the end of August 2016.

To be selected as a UBS Social Innovator you must be:


You have a product, service or technology providing an innovative solution to a social or environmental issue.


You have a business model with the potential to be financially sustainable, ready for growth.


You and your team are able to deliver a compelling vision while actively engaging with relevant stakeholders.


You create long term, positive social impact and are committed to evaluating that impact.


You have proven your concept works and you are driven to expand it to create a bigger positive impact.


You are a good match with UBS’s values and the aims of the UBS Social Innovators program.

What would becoming a UBS Social Innovator mean for you?

  • Network access: Get feedback on your project from some of the world’s most influential philanthropists and social investors.
  • Mentoring and Advice: Receive mentoring and advice from experts from UBS, Ashoka and from across our global network.
  • Grants: In each region, a finalist earns a USD 40,000 grant for the UBS Social Innovator or one of three regional finalists grants of USD 5,000.
  • Accelerator: Year-long bespoke support package, co-designed with Ashoka, to propel candidate’s social innovation to the next level.

Selection Criteria

The Bootcamps, designed with input from Ashoka, the leading Social Entrepreneurs network, will provide an opportunity for all the regional shortlisted candidates to convene, network and collaborate. They will be attended by UBS employees, UBS partners and experts from Ashoka who will all act as coaches and mentors to the shortlisted candidates after which four  regional finalists and three runners-up in each regionwill eventually be selected by a jury.

Number of Awardees

10-12 shortlisted social enterprises from each region will be invited to Regional Bootcamps and Summits during October and early November. Four Regional Finalists will be selected and invited to pitch their social enterprise for cash grants at the Regional Summits.

Duration of Programme

Regional Bootcamps and Summits will take place in October and November.

How to Apply

To be considered, you should first check that you meet our eligibility criteria and then complete the short online “expression of interest” form on your region’s page. We will check some basic information and then will send you the official application form (in PDF). This needs to be returned before the deadline on 31st August 2016.

Programme Official Webpage >>

Application Deadline

Applications will be open from the 7th of July to 31st of August 2016.

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