We are in an age of heropreneurship: everyone wants to “be” a social entrepreneur. The myth of the entrepreneur creates a false hierarchy with “start-up founder” at the top. We foster this obsession in our education, our funding, our awards, and our media. But we don’t just need more founders. We need more positive social impact.


Skoll Scholar and former Deputy Director at the Skoll Centre, Daniela Papi-Thornton launched a report called 'Tackling Heropreneurship' in 2016.

The report focuses on tactics for funders, educators, and individuals to shift practices to move social impact initiatives away from a focus on 'the social entrepreneur' to a focus on positive social impact. The report is written in an accessible, conversational style and is organised under three headings: 

  1. The current status of heropreneurship What is currently happening in the education and financing of people to want to 'be' social entrepreneurs, where these trends are leading us, and the disconnect between how social change happens and how it is taught.
  2. Where do we go from here? Ideas for how we might shift our educational and funding offerings to help people apprentice with a problem, tools for creating new conversations about social change, and tips for questions that might better align our actions with improved collective impact.
  3. Life Maps Illustrated stories of the lives and career paths of nine people, some who apprenticed with a problem, some who wished they had, and some who built upon their lived experience to add value in intrapreneurial ways.

The report includes information about how the Skoll Centre has shifted our offerings over the last few years to try to incentivise and celebrate a range of social impact roles, not just the entrepreneurs, and our focus on helping people 'apprentice with a problem'.

To read the full report, visit tacklingheropreneurship.com