Skoll Awards Overview
Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship
The Skoll Foundation presents the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship each year to a select few social entrepreneurs whose proven innovations have demonstrated impact on some of the world’s most pressing problems. The Skoll Award recognizes organizations with the potential to not only be individually successful, but also to catalyze large-scale, system-level change.
- Education and Economic Opportunity
- Effective Development
- Healthcare Access and Treatment
- Smallholder Productivity and Food Security
- Peace and Human Security
- Sustainable Markets
- Water and Sanitation
Skoll provides funding to grantees, along with connection to Skoll’s network of 900-plus social entrepreneurs and other innovators who attend the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford. This connection to other social innovators extends year-round through the Skoll World Forum Online.
Skoll Awards Process
The Skoll Foundation is currently in the process of streamlining our sourcing process for the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. Our goal is to save organizations’ valuable time, while continuing to identify the most highly aligned social entrepreneurs.
- 2014 Skoll Awardees will be selected from an existing pool of candidates that are currently under review. Therefore, no additional applications for the 2014 Awards will be accepted.
- For the 2015 Skoll Awards and beyond, the process will be nomination-based; details about that process will be announced in June 2013.
Criteria and Eligibility for a Skoll Award
Please review the Skoll Award criteria closely to determine whether your organization would be eligible and likely to receive the award. Thank you in advance for your interest!
The selection process for the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is competitive, with fewer than 10 Awards given annually. Not all organizations that meet the eligibility requirements and align with our criteria receive the Award.
- Impact potential: Organization’s innovation is positioned to directly affect policy, behavior and/or infrastructure/system(s) on a large scale and can show evidence of significant impact already achieved.
- Inflection: Organization has a proven approach that has already been implemented with success and is now ready to apply the approach on a much larger scale.
- Innovation: Organization has an approach that fundamentally disrupts the status quo to solve social and/or environmental problems.
- Focus Area: Organization works on a focus area that is identified by the Skoll Foundation as one of world’s most pressing problems.
- Skoll leverage: Organization will benefit from engaging with Skoll Foundation beyond a purely funding relationship, such as collaboration with our network of entrepreneurs or access to media opportunities.
- Social entrepreneur: Organization is led by a visionary social entrepreneur
- Sustainability: Organization has a clear, compelling plan for expanding impact and achieving long-term financial and operational sustainability.
- Led by a visionary, effective social entrepreneur serving as a spokesperson for their issue
- Strong leadership team and board
- Clear mission and implementation model
- Unwavering focus on mission
- Well-established, strong partnerships
- Commitment to systems, including those for measurement and learning
- Diversified and mission-aligned funding sources
To receive a Skoll Award, an organization must be a legally incorporated entity. Organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) public charity status, including organizations based in other countries, will be asked to submit additional documentation at the appropriate time.
- Individuals, either through scholarships or other forms of financial support
- Programs promoting religious or ideological doctrine, such as those principally sectarian in nature
- Lobbying (beyond that allowed by law for charitable organizations)
- Film financing
- Endowments, cash reserves or deficit reductions
- Government agencies
- University-based projects
- Public schools and school districts
- Land, site acquisition or facilities construction
- Institutions that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, age, gender or sexual orientation in policy or practice
- Grantmaking to other organizations or individuals
- Event sponsorship
- Political campaigns
- New or early-stage business plans or ideas
- Organizations whose missions and work focus on a single municipality, province or state
- Local offices of parent organizations or specific programs within organizations
For further information about the application process please read the Frequently Asked Questions page.