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Gates Foundation backs Indian social entrepreneurship

February 2009

Small farmers in poor communities in India will benefit from a $15million (£10.6m) grant made by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Ashoka, the international group that brings social and business entrepreneurs together to improve communities.

Ashoka will use the money to appoint more than 90 representatives, known as fellows, to introduce social innovation and entrepreneurship in rural areas.

Diana Wells, Ashoka president, said: ‘These carefully selected fellows will help change the system and support new frameworks and value chains that enable large numbers of citizens to participate in – and drive – social change.’

Valeria Merino, the Ashoka vice-president leading the partnership with the foundation, said: ‘We’re committed to finding a solution and building a broad coalition to end the cycle of poverty in India and Africa. By refocusing agricultural development initiatives around the needs and perspectives of smallholder farmers, it’s possible to build on systemic change from the bottom up.’




Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Asia | Charitable giving

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