The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change for the world’s most pressing problems. They invest in, connect and celebrate social entrepreneurs.

Sally Osberg, Skoll Foundation

Sally Osberg, Skoll Foundation

Sally Osberg’s reading early in life shaped her outlook. “I was reading biographies of people like Eleanor Roosevelt, and Jane Adams, and people who convinced me that you could make a pretty powerful difference in the world. And somehow that seeped into my consciousness and gave me a real sense of agency…to make the world a better place.”

Sally is the President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. They invest in, connect and celebrate social entrepreneurs. She describes what they’re looking for this way. “We look for the convergence of an innovative idea; a great innovator with the determination and wherewithal to stay at this work; and an inflection point where there is sufficient evidence that this idea works.”

Jeff Skoll was the founding president of eBay. He launched the Skoll Foundation in 1999. His vision is a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. In 2001, he reached out the Sally to help him create a different kind of philanthropy.

Each year, the Skoll Foundation recognizes four to six changemakers who are ready to scale their impact. They invest in these changemakers through the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. Awardees receive a $1.25 million investment over three years. They also gain access to a global community of innovative leaders and who are solving the world’s most pressing problems.

“We’re looking for a proven track record,” Sally explains. “We’re looking for a truly pressing global problem…And then this inflection point. Is the team in place? Is the evidence in place? Is there a discipline in place? Is there a great board?”

The Skoll Foundation connects social entrepreneurs through the annual Skoll World Forum. They document and share the stories of these changemakers.

Sally has announced that she will be soon stepping down from her role at the Skoll Foundation. As she looks back and forward at the same time, she reflects on the world as she sees it. “The challenges have never seemed so complex and massive in scale. And yet, the upwelling of talent and interest and goodness from people… I look at young people and see this incredible determination to tackle these problems and not make a choice between doing good, making a difference and a viable career. And I believe that holds so much promise.”

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Sally Osberg

[spp-tweet tweet=”“We partner with social entrepreneurs and celebrate the impact of their great ideas.” @SallyOsberg, @SkollFoundation”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“I tried to channel his DNA, which is fundamentally entrepreneurial.” @SallyOsberg, @SkollFoundation”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Our mission is our strategy: Invest, Connect and Celebrate.” @SallyOsberg, @SkollFoundation”]

“There are great solutions out there. We just have to open our aperture to find them.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”“People think of social entrepreneurs as lone rangers. They are anything but.” @SallyOsberg, @SkollFoundation”]

“We first and foremost are trying to be a good partner to the social entrepreneurs.”

“We can help to amplify, accelerate and strengthen, how all this comes together.”

“I plan to continue working with people who want to make a difference in the world.”

“I believe the empowerment of women and girls holds major promise for the world.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”“It is not a moment for us to descend into cynicism or despair.” @SallyOsberg, @SkollFoundation”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“I see this aspiration in young people around social entrepreneurship.” @SallyOsberg, @SkollFoundation”]

“That combination of expertise and humility…is a critical piece.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Develop some area of expertise.” @SallyOsberg, @SkollFoundation”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Think about social entrepreneurship differently.” @SallyOsberg, @SkollFoundation”]

“Learn about a social entrepreneur who is making a difference on an issue that they care about.”

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:


Leadership Development Expert
About the Author
Tony Loyd is a leadership development expert. He is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and coach. He helps purpose-driven business leaders to thrive so that they can connect and contribute at a deeper level. Find out more at

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