Faculty & Research
The School
Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

About Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Skoll Centre Film Cover Image
Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
Play video

The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship is a social impact centre within Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Our mission is to accelerate the impact of ‘entrepreneuring’ activity that aims to transform unjust or unsatisfactory systems and practices.

We do this by:

  • developing talent and emerging leadership: we offer world-class graduate education that provides students with the vision and skills to bring together market-based approaches and social innovation
  • supporting actionable insight through research: we support research that contributes to the theory of social entrepreneurship and, in particular, its practical applications to address critical global challenges. We develop and support a network of academics and unite them with practitioners in order to disseminate this knowledge globally.
  • catalysing deep exchanges with a global community of innovators: we connect social entrepreneurs with thought leaders and key players in business, government, and philanthropy to enhance social impact.


The Skoll Centre was launched in 2003 at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford to promote the advancement of social entrepreneurship worldwide. It was founded with a grant from the Skoll Foundation - at the time, this was the largest amount of funding ever received by a business school for an international programme in social entrepreneurship.

The first Skoll Scholars were welcomed in 2004, as well as the first Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, which is run by the Skoll Foundation and held annually at Oxford Saïd.

The Skoll Foundation was created in 1999 by Jeff Skoll, and drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

Our impact approach:

  • Entrepreneurship: We believe in entrepreneurial approaches to social change. We are guided by, and committed to, market-driven approaches aimed at finding solutions to poverty and environmental deterioration. We recognise that social entrepreneurship practice can be found in the public, private and citizen sectors and that the organisations created by social entrepreneurs can be legally constituted as non-profit or for-profit entities.  
  • Collaboration: Innovation and impact depend on collaboration. Everything we do is united by a sense of connectivity across sectors, networks, and key players.  We believe we have the greatest impact by connecting people and ideas, bridging learning and practice, and interfacing between diverse communities. We vigorously promote multidisciplinary teaching and research in social entrepreneurship that advances the legitimacy of social entrepreneurship as an academic discipline; and with students, we provide ongoing opportunities to engage with, learn from and support the world’s leading and emerging practitioners. 
  • Global focus: The Centre is international in reach and scope. It promotes activities, including teaching, case studies, research and events, that have relevance to the global community of practice and scholarship.
  • Systemic impact: We are driven by a mission for systemic social impact. Social entrepreneurship, at its most powerful, creates systems-change to threats and inequalities, and provides sustainable pathways to scalable, replicable solutions. We seek to enable others to affect change that re-imagines current paradigms and in turn, endures as new systems for operating.
  • Intellectual rigor and honesty: We pursue the highest level of academic excellence in education and research. Our pursuit is underpinned by principles of honesty, integrity, and ethics. We respect and honour the historical traditional of Oxford University and aim to fulfil its legacy of intellectual fulfilment for our team, students, and the wider community. Our pursuit of rigor and honesty includes our responsibility to monitor and address our impact through ongoing constructive and thoughtful self-critique, systematically engaging with our stakeholders in this process. 
Contact the Centre
Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
+44 (0)1865 288838
Skoll newsletter sign-up

The Skoll Centre newsletter goes out weekly during term time. Sign up here to receive it!

Read our data protection and privacy policy here