The annual awards provide unrestricted funding to social entrepreneurs and organizations working to create large-scale social change. The five awardees will each receive $1.5 million over three years — an increase from the $1.25 million awardees received last year — to scale their efforts and will have the opportunity to participate in a global community of visionary leaders and innovators dedicated to solving some of today's biggest global challenges.
Announced ahead of the 2019 Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England, this year's awardees are Nancy Lublin, co-founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line, which leverages big data and text messaging technology to provide people at risk of suicide with crisis counseling 24/7; Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator founder and board chair Nicola Galombik and CEO Maryana Iskander, whose organization is building scalable solutions for the youth labor market in South Africa and Rwanda, where youth unemployment rates are unacceptably high; mPedigree founder and president Bright Simons and global strategy director Selormuna Branttie, who have developed a unique product identification marker that consumers in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East can use to determine the authenticity of drugs and agricultural inputs; Gregory Rockson, co-founder and CEO of mPharma, which works in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to make medicine more accessible and affordable by taking ownership of the supply chain, eliminating inefficiencies, and introducing price controls; and Julie Cordua, CEO of Thorn, which has developed tools to identify child sex trafficking victims that are used by law enforcement in every U.S. state and more than thirty countries.
"These leaders have demonstrated how to spark transformative change to improve health, protect vulnerable individuals, and provide new opportunities for young people," said Richard Fahey, interim president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. "We are thrilled to welcome these passionate problem solvers into the Skoll community."
"These brave entrepreneurs are on the frontlines of solving the world's most pressing problems," said Skoll Foundation founder and chair Jeff Skoll. "Each social entrepreneur may have a distinct approach, but they all share a relentless pursuit of impact and the desire to create a more just world."
(Photo credit: Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator)