The Arab World Social Entrepreneurship Program (ASEP) is a groundbreaking initiative designed to enhance social innovation in the Gulf and, by extension, the wider Arab World. Leveraging Ashoka’s extensive experience as the global platform for social entrepreneurship, the ASEP will convene leading social innovators, key members of the business sector, representatives of international foundations, entrepreneurs and policymakers to establish a strong, multisectoral partnership to catalyze significant, positive change and social development in the region.
Pioneered by Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and Iman Bibars, Vice-President of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public and Regional Director of Ashoka Arab World, ASEP will identify and help scale the work of local social innovators from the Gulf region. Through a unique methodology that will introduce proven local solutions to the global scene and bring global innovations to the local arena, ASEP will significantly build the skills and capacity of a carefully-selected group of local social innovators as well as helping to create an enabling environment to support social entrepreneurship.
Starting with Dubai 2014-2015, we will expand our efforts and establish ASEP as a regional landmark, taking place every two years. The support and input of the ASEP Leadership Circle, a group of key stakeholders from the business, social, government and education sectors, will be a vital part of this process.
Our focus is on providing a sustainable shift towards using social innovation to tackle pressing challenges within the region – with a particular focus on three areas: obesity, water scarcity and women participation for inclusive growth.