Stéphanie joined Ashoka Africa Leadership team since September 2017, after 13 years with Ashoka on different continents: at the Global Headquarters in the US, Mexico City and Paris. Stephanie is leading the launch of the “Changemaker Company” initiative in Africa to create more bridges between the corporate world and social entrepreneurs and engage businesses in developing their full changemaker potential. Stéphanie is also an international evaluator for the selection of new Ashoka Fellows and a board member of Ashoka Romania. She started her carrier in management consulting with Deloitte in Paris, and Boston, before joining World Relief in Rwanda for 2 years as program director where she supported the launch of Ikirezi, a social enterprise producing essential oils with rural communities led by Ashoka Fellow Nicolas Hitimana. Stephanie was born and raised in France and holds an MBA degree from ESSEC Business School in Paris. She is a mother of 3.
Accelerating Positive Change in Africa Through Social & Business Co-Creation
In a rapidly changing Africa, social and environmental challenges are complex. Leading social entrepreneurs, like the 400+ Ashoka Fellows in Sub-Saharan Africa, are on the front lines of solving those complex problems by diagnosing and then inventing new ways to combat the failing systems that are holding back social change.
Despite successes, trailblazing entrepreneurs cannot restructure Africa’s failing systems alone; nor do they have to. Untapped changemaking power still resides in the business sector, as almost 69% of the world’s top 100 economic entities in the world are companies, not countries.
In 2018, as Ashoka surveyed its Fellows network to better understand their perspectives and best practices for engaging the private sector, we discovered a series of enlightening stories: social entrepreneurs had entered into collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses to scale their social impact beyond what was possible alone.
The findings from the survey are emphatic: social entrepreneurs want to work with businesses. 97% of respondents saw businesses as valuable strategic partners. 83% have corporate partners already. But 79% report that social and business sectors remain too siloed. The largest obstacle for these entrepreneurs is finding like-minded businesses.
Consequently, we were eager to learn more and share insights about these collaborative mindsets and strategies. How did these social entrepreneurs defy the odds in an unpredictable, unstable, and sometimes corrupt landscape to model, implement, and eventually scale crucial social innovations that have had profound impacts all over the continent?
We profiled five powerful co-creation journeys for the co-creation cases namely:
- Joseph Nkandu (Nucafe | Uganda | Agribusiness)-Joseph is combatting the poverty cycle for Ugandan coffee farmers and increasing overall returns on one of the country’s primary exports.
- Adama Kane (JokkoSanté | Senegal | Health)-Adama is revolutionizing and democratizing access to medicine through a system of exchange that allows everyone to contribute and improve community health.
- Irfan Keshavjee (Karibu Homes | Kenya | Housing)-Irfan is working to close the housing market gap by developing affordable solutions that meet the needs of low to middle- income earners, a currently underserved population.
- Evariste Aohoui (PARO-CI | Cote d’Ivoire | Recycling ) -Evariste has pioneered a holistic approach to efficiently address the issue of e-waste in West Africa by creating public awareness and engaging the informal sector as environmental agents.
- Marlon Parker (RLabs | South Africa | Youth Employment) -Marlon is using information technology to engage vulnerable youth and help them design practical technology-based solutions that address social challenges.
The co-creation case studies demonstrate how social entrepreneurs and big business can work together through mutually beneficial Social and Business Co-Creation partnerships to achieve lasting change on large scales.
Read more about these co-creation cases on the report!