Citi and Ashoka launched the Changemakers Competition “Banking on Social Change: Seeking Financial Solutions for All,” a worldwide search for financial-service projects that use the transformative power of innovation and skills to achieve real economic and social change.###
The competition is designed to reach the world’s entrepreneurs and challenge them to use their substantial talents and commitment to providing financial services for all. The objective is to channel the collective energy of entrepreneurial ideas and skills as a means for creating economic and social change worldwide.
"We believe this competition can help us discover new and exciting financial solutions and methods that have the potential to both improve and transform the traditional banking offerings,” said Sanjay Nayar, CEO of Citi India. “We hope that by making these innovative solutions available worldwide, we will improve economic and social change around the globe.”
Nominations are encouraged from the global community by September 26, 2008. Innovators must submit their entries by October 1, 2008. All entrants will gain exposure to new ideas, the opportunity to promote their solutions, and a wide range of access to collaborative partners and investors.
A panel of judges, comprising leaders from media, finance, social enterprise, corporate and academic sectors will select the 12 finalists. These top innovations will then be profiled on the Changemakers website where the online community will vote to select the three winners. Entries received before August 15 will be eligible to win an early entry prize of a camcorder and digital camera worth US$1,000.
“We’re looking for new financing possibilities, such as mobile banking, program investment, social financing and peer-to-peer lending,” said Ashoka’s Changemakers Executive Director, Charlie Brown. “These methods are already starting to help people better access, spend and save their money, so we want to offer them to millions more worldwide.”
(July 21, 2008)
Ashoka's Changemakers is building an "open source" online community that competes to surface the best social solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. To date, Changemakers has attracted more than 3,500 solutions from more than 125 countries. www.changemakers.net.
Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Since 1981, it has elected over 2,000 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in more than 60 countries. www.ashoka.org.