Case series on Social & Business co-creation

The power of social entrepreneurs and businesses to build innovative business models that address societal challenges at scale.


Co-creation: the next big opportunity to scale up social innovations

We are delighted to share this series of five business cases which highlight the models adopted by pioneers in Social and Business Co-Creation. They are amongst the finalists and winners of the European Challenge organized by Ashoka and its partners: the Zermatt Foundation, the Guilé Foundation, DPD and Boehringer Ingelheim. 338 projects from 34 European countries participated in this competition.

These Co-Creation cases which come from different industries have in common that they leverage the power of social entrepreneurs and corporations to jointly address some of society’s biggest challenges today. This approach creates value for society and businesses by enabling innovation, growth and stakeholders’ engagement.

At Ashoka, we deeply believe that the strength of social entrepreneurship is to tear down silos across sectors and bring to scale innovative solutions that have been developed with a focus on community needs. In the last 30 years, social entrepreneurship has emerged as a sector that offers an alternative model. It blurs traditional frontiers between business and social initiatives, enables “teams of teams” across sectors, and inspires leadership to commit to societal causes. Social entrepreneurs are indispensable partners to corporations that need to adapt to rapid changes in our society and a world in motion.

Co-Creation is an emerging trend that we at Ashoka want to highlight through this case series. The models presented here are in different stages of maturity. Their potential for inspiration is nonetheless huge as they help us imagine new ways of scaling up socially-driven initiatives, of creating and sharing value for organizations and society and of engaging corporate leadership.

In this report, you will get to know about:

  • The Vodafone Farmers' Club in Turkey — Improving the access of smallholder farmers to information, markets and finance through mobile technology;

  • Autism at work — Leveraging the skills of autistic people for greater performance and innovation in the workplace;

  • Ana Bella Social School — Empowering women victims of domestic violence through job creation;

  • The EspeRare Foundation — Accelerating the treatment for rare diseases;

  • Adie-O2 Micro-Franchising — Creating jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities through micro-franchising.

For us, our next step is to help build a strong Co-Creation ecosystem by engaging pioneers, sharing inspiring examples and "how to’s", as well as developing new tools and content with the goal that Co-Creation can become standard practice across the corporate and social sectors. We invite you to be part of this journey!

Start by exploring our case series: