Skoll Venture Builder

Creative process

The Skoll Venture Builder is a fast paced, collaborative and supportive workshop series for those with a social venture idea.

About the programme

The Skoll Venture Builder helps you plan and build a successful social venture.

The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship is running a series of three in-person workshops at the Saïd Business School. Each workshop is four hours long and we will repeat these workshops every term.

By the end of the Skoll Venture Builder, you will have:

  1. Foundational knowledge of social entrepreneurship and the role it can play in creating positive social and environmental outcomes
  2. Explored the process of starting your social venture including relevant concepts, frameworks and tools to create a viable social enterprise
  3. Shared and discussed your social venture with supportive peers and mentors

What is a social venture?

Essentially, a social venture can be of any legal status (such as a charity, a company limited by shares), any business model, any scale and any profit distribution model, as long as it has as a primary purpose the meeting of social or environmental needs. Social ventures often do not conform to membership criteria of the customary ‘sectors’ of society.

For the purpose of the Skoll Venture Builder a definition of a social venture is

An organisation (or initiative) intentionally developed to address a particular social or environmental challenge, whether that be a social business (aka social enterprise), or a non-profit (either donor-dependent or using a hybrid revenue model).

Pamela Hartigan & John Elkington

The Power of Unreasonable People

Dates and times

Michaelmas Term 2020

Workshop 1

Tuesday, 4 February, 5-9pm
Introduction to social entrepreneurship and understanding the problem.

Workshop 2

Tuesday, 18 February, 5-9pm
Social lean canvas and social venture validation.

Workshop 3

Tuesday, 3 March, 5-9pm
Impact measurement and pitching.


If you have a great idea about how to make a difference in the world and you want to build any form of social venture, co-operative, or purpose-driven business – the Skoll Venture Builder is for you.

  • Your team must include at least one University of Oxford student (eg undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD), staff (PhD researcher, faculty) or alumni as a core part of the founding team.
  • You must attend all three consecutive workshops in a term.
  • At least two team members must attend each workshop.
  • If you are a current Oxford MBA student, you can drop in and out of any workshop throughout the year.

How to apply

The Skoll Venture Builder is limited to 30 people. The applications for the Hilary Term are now open until Sunday, 19 January 2020, 23:59pm.

If you have any questions concerning the application please email

You will be contacted by a member of the Skoll Centre team.