1   +   5   =  

Over the last couple of months, I recognised an increasing interest in programmes for aspiring social entrepreneurs, social innovators and change makers. I also got the general feeling, that more and more people are interested in pursuing a career that does more than paying the bills – work with purpose as some would say. And it seems to me, that there is little information on existing programmes and opportunities.

Also personally more and more people, including absolute strangers, contact me to ask for advise and to hear more about my volunteer experience with Social Starters as a Social Enterprise Consultant in Kenya last year and my Masters in Social Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Therefore, I’ve decided to create an overview of global programmes for (aspiring) change-makers, social innovators and social entrepreneurs and of course anyone interested in learning more about social entrepreneurship and social innovation. The overview is a mixture of fellowships, accelerators, short courses and workshops globally. It is most probably not a complete list of existing programmes, but it’s a start.

Overview of global programmes for (aspiring) change-makers, social innovators and social entrepreneurs I whatamission.com

 1. SenseCube program // France

6 months acceleration programme in Paris aimed at supporting social entrepreneurs to develop a project with a social or environmental impact. You will receive support in designing your solution, prototyping and sustainable development. SenseCube is a project powered by MakeSense.

What do you get?

Daily support by the SenseCube team, innovation space in the heart of Paris, a network of mentors/experts and the support of the MakeSense community.

Who can apply?

Any entrepreneurs or team of entrepreneurs with an early stage impactful project. The following four dimensions will be considered by selecting the start-ups : who is the team, the potential of impact, whether it is innovative and the feasibility.

What else do you need to know?

You get to the online application here. Application deadline is 18. June 2015. Start of 6 months programme in Paris is in September 2015.

2. Post Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management // Kenya or Brazil

This unique, field-based program by the Amani Institute brings together a group of competitively selected, highly talented individuals from around the world. You receive a holistic, future-oriented training endorsed by leaders across the social, business, education, and government sectors. Your 5-months in Nairobi will possess the depth and pace necessary to train for effective social change making.

There are 25 spots available in each location (Brazil and Kenya).

What do you get?

Skills developed include social entrepreneurship, design thinking, effective communication, learning from nature, leadership, how to implement your own innovation, and many more.

Who can apply?

Regardless of your professional background, if you are looking to build or accelerate your career in the rapidly growing social change sector anywhere in the world, this program might be for you.

What else do you need to know?

You get to the online application here. Start is in July 2015. Program costs: USD 7950. Fee does not cover air fare, visa, accommodation and daily living costs. Limited financial aid available in extreme cases of need.

3. Professional Skills Trainings for Individuals // Kenya or Brazil

Shorter, skills-building courses for people outside the core Fellow group to participate in Nairobi (Kenya) and São Paulo (Brazil). Course fees varying.

List of short courses in 2015:

  • Design Thinking: How to build Creative Confidence (Kenya)
  • Coaching for Social Change (Kenya)
  • The Leadership Bootcamp (Kenya)
  • Social Entrepreneurship (Brazil)
  • Fundraising for Social Impact (Kenya)
  • Branding your Impact (Kenya)
  • Creating and Managing a Social Enterprise (Kenya)
  • Management in Complex Environments
  • Storytelling as a Leadership Skill (Kenya)

 4. Social Innovation Fellow 2015/16 // UK

Year Here is a full time postgraduate course in London, designed to cultivate entrepreneurial approaches to social problems. It’s immersive, action-oriented – and puts focus on the daily experience of those at the frontline of inequality.

Supported by a leading network including Citizens UK, FutureGov, Bain & Company and the Cabinet Office – you’ll test and build solutions to social problems. If selected, you will:

  • SERVE ON THE FRONTLINE. Your first four months will be spent in homeless shelters, care homes and community centres, learning first-hand from the people hit hardest by inequality –  and designing innovative measures to boost your placement’s impact.
  • BUILD VENTURES, SECURE INVESTMENT. You’ll design and implement your own projects from the get-go, with opportunities to secure seed investment from ​funders including ​O2 and The Funding Network.
  • LEARN FROM AN EXPERT FACULTY. You’ll be assigned a personal mentor and receive extensive training from a faculty of more than 60 leaders from across the social sector – people who know their way around the pitfalls and roadblocks inherent to the sector.
  • DEVELOP A CREATIVE PORTFOLIO. We connect you with platforms to share radical ideas. Previous fellows have written in the Independent, the Huffington Post + the Guardian, directed films and delivered TED talks.

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply to Year Here, you will need to satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • Demonstrable academic achievement
  • Eligibility to work and volunteer in the EU
  • Ability to commit to the dates of the programme and live in London for the duration
  • Willingness to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB) check

What else do you need to know?

The first step of the application process is to register. Once registered, eligibility will be checked and a link to the full application form will be send. The application deadline for the 2015/16 programme, starting in September, is Monday 22nd June. You can also express your interest for 2016 and beyond.

The good news: There are no course fees! Packages of accommodation and bursaries are also offered.

Year Here

5. The Anthemis Fellowship in the UK

A one-year journey through the Anthemis Ecosystem for the brightest disruptors who want to re-invent the financial services industry (aka the launchpad for Fintech disruptors). Anthemis Group is a leading digital financial services investment and advisory firm focused on re-inventing financial services for the 21st century.

Each individual fellow will experience a customised programme; the default journey will be:

  • to spend the first four months at Anthemis HQ in London, and afterwards,
  • a combination of placements at corporate sponsors & portfolio companies; we will recommend they spend at least two months per placement.

Over the course of their fellowship, in parallel with their work experiences, the fellows will also be working on developing a project or thesis. This could take the form of a research project, software, business plan, video, etc. So long as it is relevant to the overall Anthemis ecosystem mission of re-inventing financial services.

What else do you need to know?

Each fellow will receive a stipend of €2000 per month for the 12 months of the fellowship (September 2015 to August 2016). This stipend will cover all expenses including accommodation for the year, while cost of flights and relevant visa applications will be covered by the fellowship funds.

Applications close 31st May 2015! Application via Escape the City.

6. AdR Fellowship in Cross-Cultural Leadership and Innovative Entrepreneurship

The AdR Fellowship develops an outstanding network of entrepreneurs and social activists with a genuine ability for innovative thinking and cross-cultural dialogue. By championing a business mindset, civic engagement and impactful leadership, it is  a unique model for conflict resolution, particularly among Jewish and Muslim communities in North America and in Europe. In a multi-layered approach, the program blends the following capacity building drivers:

  1. Business Training & Innovative Leadership
  2. Social Sciences
  3. Experiential Dialogue

Who can apply?

  • You must be a resident of : Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA
  • You can demonstrate early achievements of  your organization. You have a commitment to facilitate any form of cross-cultural dialogue
  • You commit to attend the entire summer school July 19th – July 31st 2015 at the University of Cambridge, UK and to apply for the winter bootcamp (TBD).

What else do you need to know?

Applications for 2015 unfortunately closed recently.

7.  School of Social Entrepreneurs // Australia, Canada, Ireland or UK

The School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) offers a practical course that empowers, up-skills and inspires (aspiring) social entrepreneurs – people using business to create positive social change. Through the delivery of  the courses, SSE helps you to start, sustain and scale social enterprises, charities and community projects.

Apart from the full programme, you also have the opportunity to join separate courses/workshops dealing with i.e. sources of funding, leadership development or measuring social impact.

What else do you need to know?

On 23rd of June they will have a taster session (£25 ) around the theme ‘Understanding Social Enterprise‘ in London.

8. 2 week Social Innovation Bootcamp // Brazil

This is a 2-week bootcamp run by _Social Starters in Rio de Janeiro. Their mission for this programme is to bring together talented people from different worlds to create change a year ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games. You will meet, learn from – and work alongside – some of the most exciting social entrepreneurs Rio has to offer across arts, culture, sport and social enterprise.

Who can apply?

Open to anyone interested to take a break like career changers, career breakers, post grads, sabbaticals, corporate learners and freelancers interested in human-centred design and social entrepreneurship. Interview process.

What else do you need to know?

The final deadline for application is 10th June 2015. Programme fee £1280.00 / US$ 1900.00 including 14 nights accommodation, workshops, programme related travel and excursions.

9. 6 Week Volunteer Social Enterprise Consultant // India

This is a learning & development programme for career changers, and people who want to do more meaningful work also run by _Social Starters. On this programme, you will be based in Auroville, India.

Who can apply?

Open to anyone who is interested in social entrepreneurship, development work and human-centred design. Interview process.

What else do you need to know?

The final deadline for applications is 1st July 2015. Programme fees are: £1580.00 / US$2336.00 including 42 nights accommodation, programme related travel, phone credit, WIFI and expenses.

1o. Volunteer Social Enterprise Consultant // Sri Lanka

Alongside the British Council and Good Market, _Social Starters is looking for skilled professionals and career changers who want to launch new products into the social impact and sustainability space who have a passion for international development.

On this programme, you will be based in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Who can apply?

Open to anyone who is interested in social entrepreneurship, development work and human-centred design. Interview process.

What else do you need to know?

The next programme starts in July, however applications closed recently. Next opportunity to join this programme is in September. Programme Fee is £1780.00 / US$ 2632.00 including 42 nights accommodation, programme related travel, phone credit, WIFI and expenses.


If you haven’t found what you are looking for, please leave a comment and let me know how I could help and what kind of articles you would like to read instead. If you are already a social entrepreneur, early-stage or experienced, have a look at this post ‘Overview of stipends and competitions for (aspiring) social entrepreneurs and change-makers‘ (published in May 2015) as it could be more interesting for you and your needs.