Our resident changemakers

Tara Sabre Collier banner image, with a quote: "The New Normal"
Tara Sabre Collier, Skoll Scholar and Oxford MBA alumna 2012-13

Introducing our new Social Entrepreneur in Residence initiative

We take it for granted to have this whole online and offline enclave of people who are literally committing their whole lives to building a better world.

Tara Sabre Collier,

Skoll Scholar and Oxford MBA alumna 2012-13

We are honoured to benefit from the unmitigated loyalty that flows back to the Skoll Centre long after our extraordinary practitioners, alumni and innovators have left the building. This incredible network of extraordinary people continue to practice what they preach, by giving back to the Centre to ensure that our programmes continue to benefit others. As always, we are incredibly grateful for this circle of giving.

Just as we have grown our core team, we are also looking to expand our links with our wider network, including our Skoll Scholar Alumni Community. Our Social Entrepreneur in Residence initiative has been established to introduce experts from our impact alumni community, and beyond, to current students at Oxford Saïd.

In October 2019, we had the privilege of welcoming Mike Quinn back to Oxford, and in November 2019 we welcomed Tara Sabre Collier

Tara helps build entrepreneurial ecosystems all over the world. As the new Social Entrepreneur in Residence, she will be delivering sessions, writing and coaching with an emphasis on core themes in the impact investment ecosystem, with a focus on financial inclusion and backing under-represented, high-potential founders. 

Tara Sabre and Mike are among the first alumni the Skoll Centre plans to engage with for contributing to research and educational programming, participating in convenings, mentoring students and more. 

Headshot of Tara Sabre Collier

Tara is really excited to rejoin the Skoll Centre as a Social Entrepreneur in Residence, as she is keen, ‘to give back to a community and an institution that has literally changed my life.’ 

Her inspiration came from the student body and the ecosystem that the Centre fosters, which encourages and supports changemakers within the University of Oxford. ‘We take it for granted to have this whole online and offline enclave of people who are literally committing their whole lives to building a better world. But that is NOT the norm across academia or across the private sector - yet. I am really inspired and enthused to be a part of shifting towards making that the new normal.’

Tara recognises that social entrepreneurs, especially those focusing on addressing economic vulnerability, will face the challenge of aligning social impact alongside commercial competitiveness.  She recognises that this is currently a very difficult path, and one that 'requires innovation, creativity, partnership and resilience'. Her first company initially focused on serving emerging market startups, especially social enterprises and enterprises led by women and/or historically marginalised founders. 

She soon realised that the answer to any social entrepreneurial challenge was always to take an ecosystem approach. Tara’s goal to unlock capital and support at scale - that will eventually develop a more economically empowered, socially and ecologically sustainable future - focuses particularly on Africa and the African diaspora. She has lived in emerging markets for most of her adult life, learned multiple languages along the way, and worked with investors, governments and donors, ‘all to give the insight to understand, value and catalyse social enterprises and accelerate inclusive growth. The best is yet to come.’

She greatly enjoyed attending the Skoll Scholar Summit and Skoll World Forum this year, which are always reliably full of old and new associates and potential collaborators, as well as sources of profound learning and new ideas.

We asked her: ‘If you could say one thing to new Skoll students, what would it be?’. 

Her answer was simple: ‘Carpe diem.  Seize every moment.’

I am so excited to give back to a community and an institution that have literally changed my life.

Tara Sabre Collier