Press Release 12 June 2017

Ashoka and the Schneider Electric Foundation launch the 2017-2018 “Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty” program in Europe.

Fuel poverty has become a major problem in Europe. There are between 50 and 125 million people who struggle every day to ensure adequate heating, light, and cooking power in their dwelling at an affordable price (European Parliamentary Research Service). This has a severe impact on their health and wellbeing. Creative and systems-changing solutions are needed to transform this issue in an opportunity for these people to thrive.

After a successful partnership in 2015-2016, the Schneider Electric Foundation, under the aegis of the Fondation de France, and Ashoka, have renewed their commitment to helping improve the living conditions of millions of people facing fuel poverty in Europe. It is by offering support to the most innovative social entrepreneurs in Europe that we can help entire communities tackle fuel poverty and move towards energy sustainability. The 2017-2018 edition is realised in partnership with Enel.

In addition to offering ongoing support to the 2015-2016 selected innovators, the 2017-2018 “Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty” wants to grow the community of social entrepreneurs tackling fuel poverty by working in five European countries: Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

A new Call for Projects opens on 12th June 2017 to select the 15-20 most innovative organizations that offer creative and systems-changing solutions to tackle fuel poverty and promote energy sustainability in the five countries. The winners will be announced during the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change in November 2017 in Bonn, Germany. They will then receive twelve weeks of personalized and specialized support, for a total of around 300 hours of dedicated mentoring sessions, with the goal of crafting an effective strategy to scale up. A final two-day European summit will give them the opportunity to present their strategy for scaling up.

Applications open on Monday, 12th June 2017 at 9am GMT and close on Sunday, 1st October 2017 at midnight GMT. More information about the program and application process, as well as the application form, can be found here:

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Greta Rossi at or at (+39) 3488139165.

About Ashoka

Ashoka is an international non-profit organization with the vision to create a world where everyone is a changemaker. Over the past 30 years, Ashoka has devoted its energy to discover and support the most innovative entrepreneurial solutions to tackle social and environmental challenges. Nowadays, Ashoka counts over 3000 Fellows in over 80 countries. In addition to selecting and supporting the so-called Ashoka Fellows, the organization attempts to amplify the impact of their solutions and to deepen the co-creation of new solutions by promoting collaboration between social entrepreneurs, companies, and the public authority. For more information about Ashoka and its work, please visit:

About the Schneider Electric Foundation

Created in 1998, the Schneider Electric Foundation, under the aegis of the Fondation de France, has worked together with its partners to implement solutions to address the energy issues faced by the world’s most underprivileged people. In emerging economies, the Foundation supports professional training programs in energy-related trades, thereby contributing to the Schneider Electric Access to Energy program. In mature economies, the Foundation fights against fuel poverty by offering training and awareness-raising programs for the concerned households. The Schneider Electric Foundation pays special attention to the involvement of its employees across all programs. For more information about the Schneider Electric Foundation and its work, please visit: