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.
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- 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.
- Receive exclusive opportunities to meet with world-renowned entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, and investors
- Take your social impact to the next level
- Gain professional leadership and business skills
- 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.
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Applying for the Skoll Scholarship
To apply for the Skoll Scholarship you first need to apply and be accepted onto the Saïd Business School’s MBA programme.
Follow these steps:
1. Connect with us to register your interest in the Scholarship and make sure you’re kept up to date with announcements about upcoming deadlines.
2. Apply for the MBA programme directly to Saïd Business School. You’ll need to do this during stages 1 and 2 of the MBA admissions process for the 2018-19 academic year. All the information about the programme and relevant deadlines can be found here.
3. Tick the “Skoll Scholarship” box when you submit your MBA application! You’ll find this under the “Scholarships” section of the application.
4. The MBA admissions team will assess your application to ensure you meet the academic requirements sought by the Saïd Business School. Then, if you are accepted onto the MBA programme, you will be eligible to apply for the Skoll Scholarship.
5. Once you’ve received confirmation that you have been accepted onto the MBA programme, keep an eye on your emails as the Skoll Centre will send you a link to the Scholarship online application. See timelines below to know when to expect this.
6. Complete the Skoll Scholarship online application. This consists of a series of short essay questions asking about your experience as an entrepreneur, your social impact, and why you believe you are a strong candidate for the scholarship.
7. That’s it! The Skoll Centre will then consider your candidacy for the Scholarship and advise you accordingly. If your written application is successful, you’ll be invited to join a Skype interview with the Skoll Scholarship Selection Committee. If you are successful after your skype interview, you will be invited to interview in person in Oxford. (Please see below for the steps and timelines of each interview stage; and please be aware you may be invited to further interviews if necessary.)
We encourage you to apply to the MBA as early as possible. If you have applied during stage 2, but the decision on your MBA application has been pushed back by the School’s Admissions Team you will need to let us know if you still want to be eligible for the Skoll Scholarship. We will decide on a case by case basis if you are eligible to continue with the Scholarship application process.
Important things to note –
- We cannot consider candidates who have not been accepted by the Saïd Business School for the MBA.
- We typically award up to five Scholarships per year.
- Please note, should your application be successful, a deposit is required in order to secure your place on the MBA programme. However, deposit deadlines will be extended to those who advance throughout the Skoll Scholarship selection process. This will be coordinated with the Admissions Team.
- Please do not request the Skoll Scholarship application from the Admissions Team – you will receive it from the Skoll Centre following your acceptance to the MBA programme.
- If you have further questions about the application process, please check our FAQs. If you still have questions, you can contact us at, firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help.
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