Daniela Gheorghe had been based in India for 7 years, founding and running vChalk, an impact ed-tech business that sought to close children’s English early learning gaps using technology. Her year with us has taught her not only about business and systemic change, but about herself. 'I came in with burnout and graduated with light and hope.' she told us, 'I end this year with a promise that I am going to continue to empower people and ideas to reach their full potential'.
Changing lives through scholarship
We choose our Scholars carefully, finding that special blend of a fierce entrepreneurial spirit, an independent mind and an innate drive to change world.
We are proud to be part of their story, and learning from their experience here. For the 2018-19 Scholar cohort, their Oxford MBA journeys could not have been more different.
For Julie Greene, her MBA has been 'a complete game-changer'. During the course of the year she took the incredibly difficult decision to leave her company, The Women’s Bakery in Rwanda. As she told us 'I walked into this year thinking I knew where I was headed when I walked out. When I decided to leave TWB, I had to really wrestle with a lot of change and uncertainty, and I was processing that for most of the year. But I am walking out confident that I have grown and learned, that I have been challenged, and that I have an incredible community that will support me as I head into a new chapter working on SME impact investments in sub-saharan Africa.'
Mohsin Mustafa’s journey was different again. He continued to run his healthcare business in Pakistan while doing his studies, and learned many management lessons from that experience, as well as on the MBA itself. And which was the most important? To have a great team to run things, and to trust them to do it. He’s now headed back to Pakistan to steer the company to future successes.
Our fourth scholar this year is Alex Wankel, whose company Kia Pacha Foods produces an eco-friendly plant-based milk made from quinoa and tarwi - two crops packed with climate smart protein which are ethically sourced from Peru. He has used his MBA to build lasting relationships with the wider university ecosystem, launch Kai Pacha in the UK with a business partner and strong network of advisors, and secure £75k in research funding for Kia Pacha. In his own words 'I plan to return to Andean farmer communities after a year at Oxford to witness some of the same realities with a new perspective and a new set of resources.'
Skoll Scholars 2019-20
This year’s Scholars are already with us, a new and diverse set of dedicated, passionate and promising social entrepreneurs from around the world who will get their MBA at the most prestigious University in the world. Welcome to the Skoll family to Tsechu Dolma, Anjali Sarker, Diana Wangari, Rangan Srikhanta and Joaquin Viquez, it’s going to be a transformative year.