Media Release Singapore, May 17, 2021

Accelerator for Southeast Asia’s female social entrepreneurs tackling climate change and sustainability

Deutsche Bank and Ashoka launch the DIWA capacity building program

Ashoka and Deutsche Bank’s CSR ‘Made for Good’ programme today launched DIWA – Capacity Building Program, to accelerate the impact women social entrepreneurs have in the field of climate change and sustainability.

Ashoka is an internationally acclaimed organisation that supports social entrepreneurs and facilitates change for good with networks and innovative ideas. Working in partnership with Ashoka, Deutsche Bank is contributing both financially and resources, including mentors from within Deutsche Bank.

This programme is aligned with Deutsche Bank’s corporate social responsibility initiatives which support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; #1 No Poverty, #2 Zero Hunger, #3 Good health and well-being, #4 Quality Education, #5 Gender Equality, #6 Clean water and sanitation and #11 Sustainable cities and communities.

The DIWA programme will support 12 women social entrepreneurs in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand through a three-month long capacity building programme, as they prepare to expand their operations and create impact in tackling the challenge of climate change and environmental sustainability.

Ashoka Singapore Country Director, Rajesh Varghese said: “We need everyone to play a role in finding solutions to the climate crisis. Ashoka supports social entrepreneurs to lead this change ground-up, with initiatives and impact that moves the needle from awareness to action in the space of climate change and sustainability.”

Deutsche Bank APAC Head of Corporate Bank, Investment Bank and CRU Operations, Caroline Liow said: “We are delighted to support and mentor these 12 talented women on their social entrepreneurial journey as they tackle the urgent challenge of climate change. By applying lessons from our digital transformation BOOST programme, we can help these women leapfrog and accelerate positive impact in the field of sustainability, which is also a core pillar of our bank’s transformation strategy.”

The DIWA programme consists of structured learning, beginning with a virtual kick-off and continuing with the Deutsche Bank BOOST and mentoring program. The mentoring will involve six Deutsche Bank leaders pairing with the 12 social entrepreneurs to help them grow to the next level of entrepreneurship.

The 12 social entrepreneurs chosen for the DIWA programme will be supported and mentored as they refine their business model. Mentors and social entrepreneurs will have access to tools and resources on leadership, impact strategies, financial models, and designing an investment deck.

The programme will culminate in a virtual pitch event at the end of 2021, where two social entrepreneurs will have a chance to win €5,000 Euros each.

The online training will equip the social entrepreneurs with the frameworks, learning tools, and ideas to effectively lead their teams toward creating systemic impact, consisting of the following:

  • Impact strategies for system change:
    • Identifying and framing a problem statement with root cause analysis
    • Mapping the system and identifying key leverage points for change
    • Designing solutions for the direct and indirect impact
  • Women leadership for system change:
    • Shifting the narrative around women’s leadership and overcoming gender-specific barriers
    • Recognizing the role as a leader, mother, community organizer
  • Amplifying impact by building a culture of change making
    • Thinking about sustainability for systems change:
    • Identifying the right business model for the organization
    • The social investor mindset
    • Storytelling for fundraising

This is the second year of partnership for Ashoka and Deutsche Bank which aims to accelerate positive change and build a thriving ecosystem for women social entrepreneurship in APAC.

About Ashoka

Founded in 1981, Ashoka pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship, helping extraordinary changemakers in almost every area of need deepen their impact. Ashoka’s Founder, Bill Drayton, is considered the creator of the term social entrepreneur and the field surrounding it.
Ranked by NGO advisor as the world’s 6th leading NGO, Ashoka has built a network of the world’s most impactful social entrepreneurs who are changing systems and shifting paradigms at national and international levels. Supported by 300 Ashoka staff in 36 country offices, and by an international community of expert advisors, Ashoka has selected over 3,500 Fellows in 88 countries through a rigorous selection process – of whom 83% have changed national policies and 93% have seen their innovation replicated within 5 years of selection. Through this life-long fellowship, every member commits to championing new patterns of social good.

History of Ashoka in Singapore

Ashoka Malaysia and Singapore opened its doors in Singapore in 2011, with the mission of serving changemakers throughout Asia. As Asia experiences rapid economic growth and regional integration, social entrepreneurs are creating new and better ways to address fundamental human needs such as affordable housing and health care. Ashoka Singapore is a regional hub supporting Ashoka Fellows and programs in Asia.

About Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank provides commercial and investment banking, retail banking, transaction banking, and asset and wealth management products and services to corporations, governments, institutional investors, small and medium-sized businesses, and private individuals. Deutsche Bank is Germany’s leading bank, with a strong position in Europe and a significant presence in the Americas and Asia Pacific.

About Deutsche Bank Made for Good

Deutsche Bank's corporate social responsibility mission is to enable communities and economies to prosper. Supporting entrepreneurial ventures that create wider social good is a natural extension of what Deutsche Bank does for businesses of every size and purpose, every day, all over the world.

The bank’s global enterprise programme Made for Good draws on this experience to help start-ups and early-stage enterprises — microenterprises, non-profits and commercial businesses — build momentum and capacity. To equip them to be sustainable in the long run, Made for Good focuses on their readiness for investment, networks and operating systems and access to funding.

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