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Ashoka Changemakers Launch Global Competition for Social Intrapreneurship

Ashoka Changemakers® has launched The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out, an online competition to find employees within multinational corporations that are applying their entrepreneurial skill sets to create positive social and environmental impact. Sponsored by Accenture, the competition is supported by a collaboration between the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline, Standard Chartered and Imaginals.

The League of Intrapreneurs competition seeks social intrapreneurs who are pioneering new projects that have the capacity to transform business and society. Projects can include innovations in product development, supply chain management, human capital or business models. Successful examples of social intrapreneurship have included employee-driven models such as Vodafone’s M-Pesa, a mobile banking service with more than 17 million customers in Kenya.

“Social intrapreneurs are among the most important catalysts for improving the social and environmental impact of large organizations,” said Gib Bulloch, executive director of Accenture Development Partnerships. “Fifty-plus of the largest 100 economies in the world are businesses, and just one degree of change instigated from the bottom up by a social intrapreneur can make a huge difference to communities reached by those companies.”

Changemakers has awarded early-entry prizes to two participating intrapreneurs: 

  • Food for Good — a social business incubator within PepsiCo that is focused on developing new models to sustainably improve access to healthy foods in underserved communities. The flagship initiative provides nutritious meals and physical activities to kids at risk of hunger during the summer.
  • Low Cost Diagnostics in Africa  cheap and reliable diagnosis of diseases in rural areas with lack of electricity or water, and inadequately trained healthcare staff are widespread problems in less developed countries. GlaxoSmithKline is helping to develop simple, cheap, paper-based devices capable of diagnosing infections and saving millions of lives.

Entries will be accepted through December 5, 2012 at changemakers.com/intrapreneurs. The top 15 entrants from the competition will form the inaugural class of the League of Intrapreneurs, becoming part of an elite global network of changemakers.

An expert panel of judges will select three winning entries from the League, and the community will vote to determine one additional winning entry. Winners will be announced in April 2013.


Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor of Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]


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