The 15 winners are joining the mentoring programme

The 15 winners of the 2017-2018 “Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty” programme, promoted by Schneider Electric Foundation and Ashoka, in partnership with Enel, have now fully joined the mentoring phase, designed to help and support them in view of the Two-day European Summit to be held on May 24th and 25th in Rome.

Fifteen social entrepreneurs have been selected in November 2017 – during the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) on Climate Change – as winners of the 2017-2018 “Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty” programme, promoted by the Schneider Electric Foundation, under the aegis of the Foundation of France and Ashoka, and in partnership with Enel. The winners have distinguished themselves for their innovative and system-changing solutions – aimed to address the issue of fuel poverty and promote energy sustainability – within a Call for Project that saw the participation of over 40 organizations from Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal.

The projects selected represent a variety of approaches to these issues. Some organizations promote educational and training initiatives that reinforce awareness and collective involvement, or provide institutions with tools for conducting an active energy management. Some others aim to revolutionize the relationship between energy producers and consumers, introducing different forms of collective property. A number of projects are focused on concrete technological solutions for improving the energy efficiency of buildings in which low-income households or non-profit organization are located, while some other entrepreneurs are engaged in advocacy activities.

The fifteen social entrepreneurs have now fully joined the core phase of the Ashoka GlobalizerX programme: an intensive mentoring process, lasting up to 12 weeks, that will help and support them in the creation of an effective strategy to accelerate and scale up their social impact. The programme aims to provide a significant support in the form of valuable advices, partnership opportunities, inspiration and ideas. During this period, each project will benefit from the assistance of a dedicated team of professionals, composed of management consultants and qualified business experts, from PwC, Schneider, Enel and the Ashoka Support Network.

The advisory process consists of four steps. In the first session of virtual meetings with the team of experts, the entrepreneurs are called upon to analyze and redefine the social character of their venture, laying down the root causes of the problem they are going to address and a broadest vision for their initiatives. The subsequent two sessions represent the most essential part of the process. The entrepreneurs have to outline a sound and promising scaling strategy, that will ensure a wider diffusion of their project’s positive impact. The entrepreneurs will be able to use the tools and frameworks Ashoka has defined in its long-lasting activity of support to social ventures. Finally, they will be asked to formalize the outcome of the previous phases in a presentation for a broader audience.

Indeed, the mentoring session is conducted in view of the Two-day European Summit to be held on May 24th and 25th in Rome. During the two days, the fifteen winners will present their projects, and Working Tables will be organized for groups of both entrepreneurs and consultants. The Summit will be an opportunity for the founders of the projects to exchange ideas and discuss their scaling strategies with experts and peers.