Our focus on women comes from the unique commitment WSEs have showcased in creating inclusive communities, replicating their work internationally, scaling through training as opposed to partnerships, struggling to enact policy change, and tackling female-specific barriers. Some examples of the work that WSEs are doing includes providing essentials to those affected by COVID-19, increasing mental health awareness, and educating children in underprivileged areas. Women’s efforts are frequently overlooked despite them driving a sizeable amount of growth in this fast-growing region, so we wanted to uplift and highlight their inspiring work.  

In collaboration with S&P Global Foundation, Ashoka has begun a journey of understanding how women are creating these inclusive economies. Women continuously innovate in order to generate social and economic value for their communities, and our report highlights some key things (such as funding and strategic thinking) that will enable them to scale their impact and serve as catalysts for system change. Our report on Advancing Women Social Entrepreneurs in ASEAN includes some inspirational stories from WSEs across the ASEAN region, letting their Changemaker spirit, strong female leadership, and commitment to building inclusive communities shine through. We are now collaborating with both Deutsche Bank and S&P Global Foundation to further explore the realm of WSEs in ASEAN. 


DIWA is a three-month long online capacity building program made possible by our partnership with Deutsche Bank and S&P Global Foundation. DIWA takes Women Social Entrepreneurs (WSEs) on a learning journey that empowers them to create stronger impact, all while establishing a community of determined WSEs in ASEAN. If you are a WSE who wants to build their capacity, deepen their impact, and be part of a community of strong female leaders, apply to be a part of our DIWA program. Join us in our movement of empowering female leaders through increasing their confidence and fostering community. 

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Advancing WSE in ASEAN Report

The goal of this report is to identify the critical gaps in the realm of Women Social Entrepreneurship, as well as promote what enables Women Social Entrepreneurs (WSEs). We analyzed both 150 quantitative surveys and 30 in-depth interviews with Ashoka Fellows from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in order to arrive at our key insights on the uniquely feminine approach of WSEs, common barriers, and more. We have highlights catered to social entrepreneurs, investors and funders, government, and partners and stakeholders. 

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Community Building

We are continuously looking to uplift and empower communities, and we are committed to growing strong relationships within and beyond the realm of WSEs. 

To grow our community of Women Social Entrepreneurs (WSEs) and supporters, we have (and will continue to) create spaces for them to convene, collaborate, and connect. 

We hosted a virtual summit to bring together some of the most prominent women leaders of the region with corporates, entrepreneurs, Changemakers, and more to foster a world that is more welcoming and celebratory of female leadership. 

Stories and Ecosystem Findings

We think it is important to humanize our findings, so we like to highlight stories of WSEs! We also hold roundtable discussions to learn from experts and those on the ground. 

Our Stories of Impact series consists of videos and articles that showcase Women Social Entrepreneurs (WSEs) and their hard work, making space for WSEs from Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore to highlight the work they are doing on the ground. This includes stories from Ashoka Fellows, our Year 1 cohort, and our DIWA cohort.  

Coming Soon

We also collaborated with S&P Global Foundation and Deutsche Bank to hold roundtables learnings from ecosystems, bringing in influential Women Social Entrepreneurs (WSEs) and showcasing their inspirational conversations.

Coming Soon

Visions of Our Y2 DIWA Cohort

Increased prevalence of women leading change through various strategies, such as holding schools...for women, involvement of family members [in] the wider community, or expanded [education] to develop leadership for women and their families.

Oemi Faezathi ​(Indonesia)
Akademi Paradigta​

To have 1 million [Thai] high school students...that are able to access self-care and community-care online, reduce youth’s depression and suicide rate, promote...social support...and increase productivity-- saving healthcare costs.

Chanakarn Kachonseree ​(Thailand)
Founder of MindVenture​

Change the world through design solutions where creativity and sustainability meet for positive change, with the vision of a world where the economy, environment, and society act as a united entity for both people and planet.

Natasha Mañosa Tanjutco​ (The Philippines)
Co-Founder of Tayo Change Agency ​

To empower at least 10,000 women primarily in SEA countries with skills and knowledge to have independent income (by securing a job, [etc.]). The long-term intended social impact is for most SEA countries to score at least 0.8 in the Global Gender Gap Index.

Cheng Juin Ling​ (Malaysia)
Founder of SheASK​

To be able to provide employment to people with mental health conditions by creating sustainable social enterprises and create a mentoring structure for people with mental health conditions for them to share their experiences with others in recovery.

Velda Wong​ (Singapore)
Founder of Conversations Without Borders​

To spread [her] initiative into...other countries in the ASEAN region since 5 of 6 countries that contributed over 60 percent of single-use plastic into the ocean are from this region. Besides, cooperating with other countries will...create more [regional] impact.

Huyen Nguyen​ (Vietnam)
Founder of EVOL Vietnam​