Celebrating a 20-year partnership between Skoll and Oxford Saïd

An impactful partnership that has enriched life for students at Oxford Saïd

With the Skoll World Forum fast approaching in April, it’s an opportune time to celebrate the impactful partnership between the Skoll Foundation and Saïd Business School which, with a generous grant from the Skoll Foundation in 2003, founded the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.

The Skoll Centre researches how social change happens and brings a community of academics, students, and practitioners together to generate experiences and insights that spark change. Leveraging these insights, the Centre’s educational programmes equip entrepreneurial leaders for impact – at Oxford and worldwide.  



With the Skoll Foundation’s support, the Skoll Centre offers up to four scholarships every year for social entrepreneurs, providing full funding plus a living stipend to complete an MBA at Oxford Saïd. The Centre welcomed the first scholars in September 2004, and has supported more than 80 scholars since.

The Skoll scholar alumni community represents 23 nationalities and a range of industries. The majority of scholars remain in impact roles, with 91% establishing a new initiative, project or venture addressing a complex social challenge, but 71% of scholars said that without the scholarship, they would not have been able to pursue an MBA at all.

All students interested in impact at Oxford University benefit from the educational programming that the Skoll Centre offers, including Map the System, a global learning programme and competition that equips students to use systems thinking to tackle social and environmental challenges, and Impact Lab, an interdisciplinary impact leadership programme that supports University of Oxford students who are committed to having an impact-driven career.

Students and academics across Oxford are invited to engage with the Skoll Centre’s research portfolio, whether they attend the Insights for Action research seminar series, apply for the Early Career Research Fellowship or the new working paper series.

In the last year, the Skoll Centre has significantly grown its research community and is building connections between research and practice, equipping impact leaders with the research-driven insights needed to address environmental and social challenges. With new support from NextWorld Philanthropies to fund The Ownership Project 2.0 announced in February, the Centre’s research portfolio will continue to grow, developing actionable research-based insights that fuel social innovation.

Through the enduring and impactful partnership between Oxford Saïd and the Skoll Foundation, the Skoll Centre is cultivating a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders, equipping them with the expertise and mindset needed to catalyse impact and re-shape our world.