Who are Social Entrepreneurs?

Social entrepreneurs are drivers for change

Erica Mackey working in the field for Off Grid Electric installing a solar lamp

Social entrepreneurs focus on transforming systems and practices that cause poverty, marginalisation, environmental deterioration and loss of dignity. Socially entrepreneurial activity takes place across all fields, from health to climate change and education, and across all sectors, from non-profit to commercial and governmental. In partnership with institutions, networks and communities, social entrepreneurs create solutions that are efficient, sustainable, transparent and have measurable impact. Importantly, social entrepreneurs are focused on systems-changing initiatives that seek to address the root cause of the social problem rather than palliative activities.

How do they differ from traditional entrepreneurs?

Social entrepreneurs have all the same attributes of entrepreneurs – driven, efficient, resilient and market oriented. 

Henry Gonzalez - Skoll Scholar, speaking to a table of people

Social entrepreneurs are focused on creating value for people and planet.

How we make a difference

We aim to advance the field of social entrepreneurship to deliver social change.

We achieve this goal through education, by catalysing research and by bringing together leading academics, practitioners, students and entrepreneurs to transform society.

As well as supporting social entrepreneurs to develop new ventures, we also promote research initiatives

Our Skoll Scholarship programme also provides up to five fully funded MBA awards, not just for social business founders but also for entrepreneurial leaders in the private and public sector.