Social entrepreneurs are in the business of building better futures. While most of us see only symptoms, they look at the whole system. And by reframing a problem – seeing things differently – we can begin to reimagine what’s possible. Unlocking this process of discovery is what Reimagine is all about.
What we do
The Skoll Centre is a diverse, equitable and inclusive learning community of academics, practitioners and students from around the world.
We pioneer global learning in Social Entrepreneurship, Systems Change and Knowledge Equity.
We achieve this through world-class education programmes, action-centred research and catalytic collaborations.
Through this, we are playing our part to develop the next generation of systems leaders to transform unjust systems and help address the world’s greatest environmental and social challenges.
Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
Alumni Impact Report
accessed a network who have positively influenced their careers
Discover fresh thinking from the Skoll Centre's dynamic collection of bloggers on social entrepreneurship.
Here, you can find the latest stories, insights, and thought provoking ideas from the people behind the Skoll Centre and our global community of entrepreneurs.
Skoll was a fundamental attraction for me, I knew that I could spend two years incubating ideas that could scale for the world
What is social entrepreneurship?
We believe social entrepreneurship is the practice of combining opportunity, innovation, and resourcefulness to address critical social and environmental challenges.
This is mainly done by purpose-driven organisations and actors whose aim is to transform the systems and practices that are the root cause of the world’s largest social and environmental problems. Social entrepreneurs work across all sectors and in all industries in government, the public sector, non-profit organisations, large corporations and social venture start-ups to achieve positive systemic change.
The Skoll Scholarship
Fully-funded scholarship for the one year Oxford MBA
It's for those who have been working to achieve systemic change to a social or environmentally challenge, either through an initiative they started or via an impact career across any sector.
Skoll Scholars have the chance to grow their impact by expanding their networks and skills at the University of Oxford. All Scholars become part of a life-long community of change leaders across the globe.
Research and insights
We work with faculty and early career researchers at Oxford Saïd and beyond to enable high-quality research that generates insights to address pressing environmental and social challenges, globally. Our aim is to connect researchers with social impact practitioners, catalyse new ideas and communicate findings to generate real impact.
Our current research initiatives are:
Previous research initiatives:
We are delighted to launch the first Skoll Centre Working Paper: Unpacking Systems Change Philanthropy: Five Alternative Models (September 2022), by Professor Paulo Savaget, Professor Marc Ventresca, Professor Marya Besharov, and Jessica Jacobson.
Based on research by the Systems Change Observatory, the paper takes stock of how philanthropic funders in the social impact sector conceptualise ‘systems change,’ categorising these into five dominant models, with different impact timelines, implicit assumptions, and modes of intervention. The paper offers a framework that highlights the value of diverse approaches and provides a guide to help funders identify which model best aligns with their impact aspirations and capabilities.
We are proud to have supported a new report, ‘Net Zero Business or Business for Net Zero? A Report on Corporate Climate Leadership Practices on Scope and Offsetting.’
The report outlines how companies considered sustainability leaders, at the forefront of net zero ambition, are defining and managing their Scope 3 emissions, and using credits, sinks offsets, and insets to compensate emissions or complement their climate strategies through additional contributions.
Read more about the research, its key recommendations on the Oxford Net Zero Website.
Convening a global community of systems thinkers.
A global conversation on how to teach, learn, support and measure systems change. Convening a variety of systems leaders, Systems week explored the relationships between systems actors, systemic problems and solutions; resistance to incumbent systems and inequitable power dynamics; and the resources needed to support systemic change. This was a collaboration between the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and the Centre for Knowledge Equity.
Skoll Venture Award impact report
Nine years of accelerating positive systems change and tackling the world’s most urgent challenges.
The Skoll Venture Award was an annual prize given by the Skoll Centre for early-stage social ventures founded by University of Oxford students, alumni and staff. From 2012 - 2020 we have invested in £250,000 in 15 ventures. The award aimed to help early-stage social ventures overcome the pioneer gap.
This award was distinct and separate from the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, a prestigious prize given annually by the Skoll Foundation. Both awards help to recognise the importance of investing in and supporting social entrepreneurs at critical stages in their journeys to impact.
Decisive decade: Organising of climate action
Saïd Business School has today published a key report commissioned by the international climate change campaign Mission 2020.
This significant piece of research maps, for the first time, the full ecosystem of global climate change organisations. It also suggests how these organisations can best work together to overcome fragmentation across business, civil society and government and achieve meaningful change.
Skoll Centre annual review
Highlights from the past academic year
2020 hasn't been the year any of us expected, and while there have been many challenges, there has also been opportunity.
Across our annual review, we have shared the work that we are most proud of in the 2019-20 academic year, the inspiring people that make it happen and our plans for the future.
What makes the Skoll Centre really special is that it sits at the nexus of theory and practice.
Keep up to date
Each month, we shine a light on the work of the Skoll Centre and its community in the Skoll Spires newsletter.
It also shares opportunities on programmes and upcoming events such as seminar series and the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.