The Skoll Scholarship is a competitive scholarship for incoming MBA students to the University of Oxford who pursue entrepreneurial solutions for urgent social and environmental challenges. The Scholarship provides funding and exclusive opportunities to meet with world-renowned entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and investors.The Skoll Scholarship provides tuition for entrepreneurs who have set up or have been working in entrepreneurial initiatives with a social purpose or who have pursued an impact career, and who wish to improve their knowledge of market-oriented practices so they can be more effective in their subsequent social change pursuits.The Scholarship is given in recognition that the MBA may represent a significant financial burden, particularly for those who have chosen to work in the social impact/innovation space rather than the purely commercial or public sectors.
What we offer
The Skoll Scholarship covers the full costs of tuition and college fees for the MBA programme at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. The Scholarship also covers partial living expenses based on need, up to an additional £8,000.
In addition to financial support, the Scholarship provides access to the Skoll Scholar community, a group of leaders who are positively impacting the world through innovation and systems change, as well as exclusive opportunities to meet with world-renowned entrepreneurs, thought leaders and investors.
Are you eligible for the Skoll Scholarship?
- By the time the candidates apply for the MBA, they must have spent preferably at least 3 years either:
- starting and growing a social venture;
- OR leading a major expansion of an existing social venture or programme within an organisation;
- OR pursuing positive change as an impact career professional, i.e. someone who has used entrepreneurial approaches to address the same social/environmental issue, with a clear core thread that unites his/her work.
In each of these 3 cases, candidates should be able to describe the outcomes/impact that has been created as a result of their work.
- Candidates will have used entrepreneurial approaches to identify opportunities, taken action to positively shift the status quo, and produced proven impact that contributes to rectifying unjust systems and practices in their chosen area of work.
- Candidates must demonstrate evidence of personal qualities strongly resonating with entrepreneurial leadership, and illustrate how these have influenced their career path thus far. These qualities include:
- Single-mindedness and persistence in pursuit of a social/environmental benefit goal, including a willingness to face failure and start again;
- A bias towards action rather than reflection on an issue and a willingness to apprentice with a problem* if they are tackling a challenge they didn’t personally live;
- A tendency to explore the environment for opportunities and resources;
- A willingness to take personal, and sometimes financial, risks;
- A propensity to develop networks and draw upon their members to pursue mutual goals.
- Candidates must demonstrate how a business education can contribute to the wider development of their work. They will need to illustrate why a business degree at this stage of their career trajectory can help them amplify their impact.
- Candidates must demonstrate some evidence of their need for the Scholarship. This may be exhibited, for example, in previous work experiences or personal backgrounds which make self-funding the MBA a significant financial burden.
*”Apprenticing with a Problem”, a term we borrowed from Jessamyn Shams-Lau at the Peery Foundation, refers to someone developing a deep understanding of a problem they did not live through themselves, e.g. by working in the field, working at a related organisation, conducting research, etc. A simple example of someone apprenticing with a problem is a teacher who has gone on to start an education focused non-profit.