ESG Case Study: Simon-Kucher Supports Ashoka Social Entrepreneurs

December 03, 2021

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Last month, we released our 2020 Global Sustainability & Social Impact Report, which detailed our social, environmental, and workplace impact. Now, we are delighted to share some of the many pro bono activities that our consultants lead. Through our work with Ashoka – a network of changemakers – we supported two community uplifting initiatives.

What is Ashoka?

Ashoka is a global network of social entrepreneurs (Fellows), with a mission “to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector”. With around 4,000 active Fellows in 95 countries, Ashoka is significantly impacting millions of people around the world. In 2018, 93 percent of Ashoka Fellows successfully influenced public policy, and altered market systems, while many others helped to change mindsets.

In our mission to create positive change, we are expanding our pro bono initiative, mentoring schemes, and volunteering activities, to better engage with our local and global communities. As such, we were honored to start our new partnership with Ashoka Germany, by supporting two Fellows with incredible system changing projects – EARS, and socialbee.

What is EARS?

East Africa Radio Services (EARS), was founded in 2019 by Ashoka Fellow Klaas Glenewinkel, as Uganda’s first radio advertising aggregator. In Africa, radio is the most important media, aiding communication and democratization.

The problem is that African local radio stations tend to be very fragmented, making it harder for advertisers to reach them, or their target audiences, effectively. This usually means that local radio stations are able to stay on air thanks to political financial support, preventing them from remaining objective and politically independent.

EARS aims to fill this gap by efficiently connecting advertisers with several local stations – helping to make radio stations self-sufficient through advertisement fees.

How did Simon-Kucher help?

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  • We conducted interviews with relevant stakeholders, and in-depth market research to understand the current EARS situation and how to help them grow
  • Based on these results, we were able to revise EARS’ offer structure and packages, making them clearer for current and potential advertisers
  • We also supported EARS by helping them improve their targeted value communication

"It was super interesting to dive deeper into the Ugandan radio market!"

Adrian Bauer, Consultant, Simon-Kucher & Partners


What is socialbee?

Since its inception only a few years ago by Fellow Zarah Bruhn, socialbee has been spearheading the integration of, oftentimes, disadvantaged people into the workforce – covering diverse backgrounds such as refugees and migrants. It aims to create long-term employment opportunities from which both the employee and the employer can benefit. What is socialbee?

To that end, socialbee holistically supports employees in their integration into the workforce, offering a range of development opportunities, such as coaching, language classes, and cultural skills. Similarly, a range of training and support mechanisms empower HR departments of participating companies to hire more diversely, and overcome administrative challenges.

How did Simon-Kucher help?

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  • Supported socialbee in setting up a marketing plan to boost its awareness among its target audience, as well as to attract new company partners
  • Analyzed the efficiency of different marketing channels, and defined the content strategy for each short-listed channel
  • Streamlined socialbee’s product offering and communication

“It’s been a great experience to work with the entire socialbee team and to support them in their endeavor of promoting diverse hiring. Their drive, creativity, and sense of purpose is clearly contagious!”

Simon Stahn, Consultant, Simon-Kucher & Partners


Will Simon-Kucher work on similar projects in the future?

Our partnership with Ashoka has only just started. EARS and socialbee launched what we hope to be a long and ongoing partnership out of Germany.

We are excited to support other such inspiring initiatives on a pro bono basis – doing what we can to change the world for the better.


To find out more about our corporate social responsibility activities, click here to read our very first Global Sustainability & Social Impact Report.

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