Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship

Posted by on January 08, 2012

Skoll Foundation Invites Applications for Social Entrepreneurship Awards
Deadline: March 1, 2012

The Skoll Foundation is accepting applications for the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship.

The annual awards program is designed to recognize and support social entrepreneurs anywhere in the world who are helping to solve the world’s most pressing problems. Each award includes a core support grant to the entrepreneur’s organization, to be paid over three years, and a non-cash award to the social entrepreneur presented at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. It is anticipated that fewer than ten Skoll Awards will be announced this year.

The foundation defines social entrepreneurs as “the change agents for society.” Social entrepreneurs “seize overlooked opportunities by improving systems, inventing new approaches, and creating sustainable solutions to transform society for the better.”

The foundation seeks to support social entrepreneurs whose work has the potential for large-scale impact in a range of issues and areas, including economic and social equity, environmental sustainability, health, institutional responsibility, peace and security, and tolerance, justice, and human rights. The foundation’s focus on these issue areas stems from a belief that many of the world’s most pressing problems are exacerbated by inequality between the rich and poor. Social entrepreneurs provide solutions that address this inequity at a systemic level.

To be considered, organizations must have a tested and proven social innovation that addresses an issue of critical importance and is positioned for large-scale impact. Qualifying organizations will be evaluated against the following criteria: Impact potential — the 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 – the organization has a proven approach that already has been implemented with success and is now ready to apply the approach on a much larger scale;Innovation – the organization has an approach that fundamentally disrupts the status quo to solve social and/or environmental problems; Issue – the organization works on an issue that is identified by the Skoll Foundation as one of world’s most pressing problems; Skoll leverage – the organization will benefit from engaging with the Skoll Foundation beyond a purely funding relationship, such as collaboration with the foundation’s network of entrepreneurs or access to media opportunities; Social entrepreneur – the organization is led by a visionary social entrepreneur; and Sustainability – the organization has a clear, compelling plan for expanding impact and achieving long-term financial and operational sustainability.

While the awards do not have an absolute budget threshold for eligibility, the foundation has found that organizations with annual revenues below $2.5 million that have activities primarily in developed countries and below $1 million that have activities primarily in developing countries tend to be at a disadvantage in the selection process. The selection process prioritizes organizations based on readiness to expand impact significantly and/or scale up solutions and favors organizations within these budget thresholds.

To receive an 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.

For detailed awards criteria, the required eligibility quiz, application procedures, and an FAQ, visit the Skoll Foundation Web site.

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