Skoll Foundation Announces Changes to Social Entrepreneurship Awards Program

The Palo Alto-based Skoll Foundation has announced new guidelines for its Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship program, which supports social entrepreneurs around the world working to pioneer innovative approaches to meeting the needs of marginalized, disadvantaged, and disenfranchised populations lacking the financial means or political clout to achieve lasting benefit on their own.

Under the new guidelines, applicants may apply year-round for the awards, which generally amount to $1 million over three years. In addition, the foundation has added an eligibility quiz to its online application process designed to help applicants assess their competitiveness for an award and prepare an application that is more likely to match the selection criteria. Grants awarded through the program are considered late-stage or "mezzanine" funding for social entrepreneurs who have demonstrated that their innovation can achieve change by fundamentally transforming the lives of populations mired in poverty.

"The individuals in whom the Skoll Foundation invests embody the characteristics of innovative and successful social entrepreneurs: inspiration, creativity, courage, and fortitude," said foundation president and CEO Sally Osberg. "We think the changes we've made to our awards program will allow us to sustain a portfolio of social entrepreneurs who are having the greatest impact on issues that are at the heart of the foundation's mission."