What we do

We are a dedicated centre for social entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford.

Based at Saïd Business School, our goal is to maximise the positive impact of social entrepreneurship across the world.

We support and inspire students to tackle world-scale problems through social entrepreneurship, from education to climate change, from poverty to healthcare. We offer a rich portfolio of programmes and events, opportunities for funding and financial support, as well as a range of collaborative opportunities.

We also work to advance the field of social entrepreneurship through research insights and knowledge exchange. We are in a unique position to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Together, we can change the way the world works.

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship video thumbnail

Learn more about what makes the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship unique.

Skoll Centre Annual Review

Newtons cradle ball flying backwards

10 stories across the past academic year

Across 10 individual articles, we have shared the work that we are most proud of across the academic year of 2018-2019, the inspiring people that make it happen and our plans for the future.

2018-19 was a year of considerable growth. The Centre has seen massive gains in building its team, launching many new initiatives and reviewing our key priorities for the future. 

Skoll was a fundamental attraction for me, I knew that I could spend two years incubating ideas that could scale for the world

Tarun Varma

1+1 Pershing Square Scholar

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

Skoll Scholars 2019-20 - five entrepreneurs in a line in the SBS corridor.

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.


We offer a range of programmes for postgraduate students, both as part of Saïd Business School’s MBA programme, and co-curricular offerings for the University of Oxford as a whole. 

Research and insights

Student in library

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:



Awards and opportunities

Alongside giving day-to-day advice and support to students and alumni across the University, we also offer opportunities for funding and support through fellowships, awards and grants.

Catalysing social ventures

Oxford MBA Puja Balachander - Co-founder of Devie (audience choice winner for SVA 2019)

We offer advice and practical support to students and alumni and the wider Oxford community on the social and environmental impact of their ventures. 

We do this through a number of different offerings. 

  • Skoll Venture Awards provides up to £30,000 in funding to University of Oxford students and alumni who have started a business with social entrepreneurship at its core.
  • Skoll Venture Builder is a fast paced, collaborative and supportive workshop series for those with a social venture idea. (Only available for MBA students)
  • Randomised Coffee Trials are a great way for University of Oxford students to connect with the wider University and the local Oxford community. 



Creating deep exchange through convenings

Peter Drobac on stage at the opening plenary of Skoll World Forum 2019

We offer a unique opportunity to hear from, network and collaborate with the world's leading experts on social entrepreneurship through our programme of events. 

We pride ourselves on our ability to bridge learning and practice, providing a centre for collaboration between the world's most influential social entrepreneurs, academics and systems thinkers.

One of these major events is the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship

The Skoll World Forum is the premier international platform for advancing entrepreneurial approaches and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. The purpose of the event is to accelerate the impact of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs by uniting them with essential partners in a collaborative pursuit of learning, leverage, and large-scale social change.

This event is run by the Skoll Foundation. The Skoll Centre hosts the event at Saïd Business School annually running its own events alongside it, such as lively Oxford Union debates on social impact education.

Classroom filled with smiling students sat behind desks.

We offer unique opportunities to hear from, network, and collaborate with the world's leading experts on social entrepreneurship.

We run numerous seminars, debates, lectures, webinars, and interactive workshops during the year. Many are led by policymakers, business executives, academics, and social innovators. All our events are open to University of Oxford students, and many open to the public. 


Skoll Centre Blog


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. 

Keep up-to-date

We will share updates on our upcoming programmes, events and opportunities.