Ashoka Nordic has awarded two young changemakers in Finland for their innovative and impactful solutions to social challenges. The recognition aims to support young people who have founded entrepreneurial initiatives that provide solutions to societal issues. The award has been given out in Finland for the third time, and is part of Ashoka's global network of changemakers and social entrepreneurs, which has been operational in over 90 countries worldwide since 1980.

The first recipient of the award, Panashe Kauhanen, is the founder of FASHCENE, a brand that focuses on the production of contemporary and modern fashion shows to promote inclusion among youth in Finland. The goal of the brand is to create a platform where young people can showcase their talents in a safe and welcoming environment. The team behind the brand consists of three young innovators, Panashe Kauhanen, Aada Peltoniemi, and Eveliina Salminen. The unconventional fashion show that they run has already garnered interest from numerous stakeholders and the media. Kauhanen believes that young people are the key to our future and that their voices must be heard so that their problems can be understood. The award will support her in developing her solution with the help of experienced mentors and a global network of social entrepreneurs.

The second award-winning changemaker is Maija Kuivalainen, the founder of Kestävä Pieksämäki, a sustainable development group for anyone interested in climate advocacy and activism. As the youth climate delegate and city councilor in Joensuu, Kuivalainen mobilizes people to act jointly to tackle the root causes of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. She believes that working together is crucial to finding solutions to the planetary crisis, as the environmental crisis is interlinked with all aspects of society. The award will support Kuivalainen in connecting with a global network of social entrepreneurs and participating in events that can help her develop her solution.

Changemakers receive support from experienced mentors who are experts in their field. Ashoka connects them with a global network of over 3800 social entrepreneurs and provides opportunities to participate in events and develop their solutions together with international influencers. The jury that selected the awardees included well-known and respected people in their fields, such as Founder of Cigale & Fourmi and Member of the Board of the Louise och Göran Ehrnrooth Foundation, Anna Fromond, Founder of Måndag Arto Sivonen, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of GraphoGame Jesper Ryynänen, and others.

In conclusion, the Ashoka Nordic award has recognized two young changemakers who are making significant contributions to society. These awards will encourage them to continue their innovative work and inspire others to take action. With the support of experienced mentors and a global network of social entrepreneurs, these young people will be able to develop their solutions further and create a better future for all.