The Annual Africa Conference on Social Entrepreneurship (AACOSE) is a Pan-African convening that brings together and connects first and foremost practitioners and academia in the field of social entrepreneurship, leading players in these two ecosystems and key decision makers from the private and policy sectors. Convening within the nexus of academia and practitioners is unique in itself but the value the rest of the players bring into AACOSE is what makes it a real deep dive convening. The idea is to acknowledge social entrepreneurship, conceptualized it within the African context, foster multi-sectoral collaborations to accelerate its growth as the foundation of the changemaker movement and to find ways to build and scale the next generation of solutions to Africa’s challenges.

AACOSE is convened by the Institute of Social Transformation (IST) at Tangaza University College and Ashoka East Africa. IST is providing competence based training to budding and established social entrepreneurs, training them and enabling them to impact and transform the lives of people while Ashoka is credited globally for conceiving the fields of social entrepreneurship and the concept of changemaking.

Like in the previous FOUR editions, this hybrid 5th edition will bring together social entrepreneurs, academicians, researchers and research institutions, impact enablers, funders (grant makers and investors), private sector leaders, policy makers and youth changemakers among others.

  • A coherent understanding of social entrepreneurship and changemaking, as a powerful force for social transformation across different sectors in Africa.
  • A better understanding of the social entrepreneurship and changemaking ecosystem and how to leverage the ecosystem to forge, grow, and sustain social entrepreneurship to build a resilient, equitable and sustainable systems in Africa
  • Identified and shared tools and opportunities for capacity building and collaboration in organized, fluid, open and integrated teams championing social entrepreneurship and changemaking across Africa

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The world is currently experiencing a global crisis that calls for innovative solutions that create a lasting impact on communities. We can best achieve this through social enterprises, as has been the case in the past, where such enterprises flourished in responding to global crises. The challenge is that a majority fail to build sustainable models that make them commercially viable, in the long run. It is therefore imperative to capitalise on the immense innovative energy of Africans and channel that towards social enterprise development.

WHY ATTEND THE CONFERENCE? Possible Outcomes

Spur interest in entrepreneurs tapping into opportunities in cyber security, supply chain management, resource management, health and security systems, employment creation and digital technology.
Create a network of social entrepreneurship researchers to advance evidence-based research on social entrepreneurship in Africa.
Encourage entrepreneurs to come up with concrete initiatives that will bridge the knowledge and skills gaps in youth, and contribute to the growth of social enterprises in Africa.
Respond to the need for capacity building for the social entrepreneurs by creating a network ecosystem player in training who can support continuous capacity building for social entrepreneurs.

Thematic Focus

The conference seeks to uncover answers to critical questions that the governments, social entrepreneurs, development and private-sector stakeholders are grappling with, and have been hard hit because of COVID-19, including