Ashoka UBS Social Innovators program 2016 for Social Entrepreneurs (Funded to Summit in London & Switzerland plus USD 130,000+ Prize/Region)

Application Deadline: 31st August 2016  23.59 Central European Summer Time

UBS is supported by Ashoka in the design and implementation of the UBS Social Innovators program.  Ashoka is the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide with over 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 80 countries putting their system-changing ideas into practice on a global scale.

UBS are launching a search for Social Innovators who will benefit the most from access to the unique network and expertise of UBS, the world’s leading wealth manager.

You are invited to apply to become the UBS Social Innovator 2016 in one of three regions, Switzerland (our home market), Europe Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific.


  • 10-12 shortlisted social enterprises from each region will be invited to Regional Bootcamps and Summits during October and early November.
  • USB will invite up to 12 successful applicants to attend a two-day collaboration and selection event in London on the 18th and 19th of October 2016.

    Following this event, we will invite four applicants to the Regional Summit in London on 4 November 2016, where the EMEA UBS Social Innovator 2016 will be selected.

    The rewards

    As a 2016 UBS Social Innovator, you will receive a 12-month support package tailored to your specific needs, using the brightest minds from UBS and Ashoka to help scale and innovate your solution in 2017.

    You will also receive a cash grant of USD 40,000 and have the opportunity to get feedback from leading social investors and philanthropists at a UBS event in Switzerland at the beginning of December.

  • The Bootcamps, designed with input from Ashoka, the leading Social Entrepreneurs network, will provide an opportunity for all the regional shortlisted candidates to convene, network and collaborate.
  • They will be attended by UBS employees, UBS partners and experts from Ashoka who will all act as coaches and mentors to the shortlisted candidates.
  • At each Bootcamp, four Regional Finalists will be selected and invited to pitch their social enterprise for cash grants at the Regional Summits.
  • There, the jury will select the UBS Social Innovator and three runners-up in each region.
  • The three UBS Social Innovators (one from each region) will take part in a bespoke Accelerator program designed for each of them by UBS and Ashoka, to help them scale and maximize their project’s impact.
  • This will run for the whole of 2017 and will include regular meetings with Ashoka, UBS experts and other relevant third parties from UBS and Ashoka’s networks; a structured program of virtual and in-person workshops including a full training on preparing for social investment, 1:1 mentoring and coaching with key stakeholders; and presentations to UBS employees, partners and potential investors.
  • The three UBS Social Innovators will also each have the opportunity to receive feedback on their projects from some of the world’s leading philanthropists and social investors at a UBS event in December 2016

    Finally, UBS will award cash grants of USD 40,000 to each of the three UBS Social Innovators.

    All the Regional Finalists will receive an advanced introduction on preparing for social investment, guiding them through the key elements from developing social impact metrics through how to refine their revenue model.

    Each of the three runners-up in each region will also receive a grant of USD 5,000.

UBS Social Innovators: selection criteria

The selection committee will be looking for applicants who provide strong answers to a range of questions about what their social enterprise does, how it runs and how good its prospects for future growth and success are. We’ve grouped these questions by topic. As you describe your social enterprise please try to think about how you can demonstrate your answers to each question.

A social enterprise is an organization which has a social purpose, but which earns all, or a large proportion, or at least a growing proportion of its funding from sales of goods or services. Social enterprises may be charities, companies, subsidiaries of a charity etc. and may be non-profit or for profit, but must be revenue generating.

  • Innovative: What is original about your initiative?
  • Impactful: How does your social enterprise create a sustainable and equitable impact?
  • Financially Sustainable: What is your plan for reaching your social enterprise’s long-term goals and securing financial backing?
  • Scalable: What opportunities do you have to grow your social enterprise and bring it to a significantly larger scale?
  • Compelling: Do you have a great story to tell and a clear and convincing message to share?
  • Compatible: Is your social enterprise compatible with UBS’s values and the aims of the UBS Social Innovators program?

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the UBS Social Innovators program 2016



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