Looking for a program to channel your passion for social innovation and change? These social entrepreneurship fellowships have opportunities in over 70 countries and cover a variety of fields — everything from education, economics, the environment, and more. If one of the programs sparks your interest, make sure to bookmark it to your ProFellow account.
U.S.-Based Social Entrepreneurs
1 Hotels Fellows will work in partnership with Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) Emerging Leaders Program to identify pressing environmental issues and needs across the country, and then organize and execute projects that help communicate and amplify the business and economic case for smart policies to address these issues. Fellowships are restricted to early or mid-career professionals who currently work in sustainability, clean energy, water, infrastructure or related fields. Each fellow will receive a stipend of $20,000, plus other benefits.
The Baltimore Community Fellowships program seeks dynamic activists and social entrepreneurs interested in implementing projects that address problems in underserved communities in Baltimore city. Fellowship awards are in the amount of $60,000 over 18 months. Fellowships are for initiatives that take place in Baltimore City. Applicants may come from any field, including—but not limited to—business, management, the arts, law, medicine, education, architecture, and engineering. Individuals from underserved communities and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
Camelback Ventures is offering a six-month fellowship focusing on coaching, capital, connections, community and curriculum specifically for people of color and women or underrepresented entrepreneurs. Multiple summits are held for the fellows to strengthen their professional connections and further their endeavors through refining personal management style. Fellows are offered $40,000 in seed funding to create change in their communities.
The Carter Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Innovation, made possible through the vision and generosity of philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter, is designed to stimulate solutions to Rhode Island challenges. Fellows will receive up to $200,000 over four years to test and implement innovative ideas that could dramatically improve an area of life in Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders aged 18 or older are eligible to apply. Recipients must commit to staying in Rhode Island for the four-year duration of the Fellowship.
The Drexel Fund offers a paid fellowship to innovative leaders with a strong desire and plan to launch high-quality, private schools for low-income children. The fellowship includes leadership coaching, cohort trainings and school launch support. Founders receive a living stipend and a budget for their individual learning plans during a one-year fellowship that culminates in founders requesting school start-up funding. Fellows with approved program plans will receive financial resources while starting the school as they grow full capacity. Successful schools will also be eligible for more funding to expand the school model.
The BMA fellowship is for social entrepreneurs who are starting up new and innovative social entrepreneurship organizations dedicated to improving the life outcomes of black men and boys in the U.S. The fellowship is for 18 months and provides fellows with stipend amounts of $90,000 for a partnership and $80,000 for an individual Fellow. Fellows received access to technical support and pro bono partnerships and a community of like-minded social entrepreneurs and public service leaders. While your organization must focus on issues affecting black men and boys, the BMA Fellows are not required to be part of this population and will be chosen regardless of race, gender or ethnicity.
The Fellowship for Serving African-American Communities at Harvard Kennedy School brings together diverse and talented emerging leaders based on their demonstrated leadership promise and demonstrated interest in reducing disparities in African-American communities through efforts in health care, education, economic development, public policy, criminal justice reform, social entrepreneurship, and a variety of other fields. Fellows are awarded a full tuition scholarship and health fees and are eligible for a stipend up to $10K. This fellowship is open to applicants entering their first year of study in any of the Harvard Kennedy School’s masters’ degree programs.
Culture Push’s Fellowship for Utopian Practice is a testing ground for new ideas that aim to create positive social change through civic engagement and horizontal learning opportunities. Culture Push serves artists by providing creative, analytical, and logistical tools in the creation of truly transformative projects. Artists must complete their project in New York City and will have support and mentoring through all aspects of the project as they build and exhibit their work. Financial assistance of $1,000 is provided at the start and other fund-raising opportunities are available to help complete the project within 1 year.
The Fund II Roots & Shoots National Fellowship has been designed to provide an opportunity for young people of color to complete community-focused projects that help foster respect and compassion for all living beings, promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs, and inspire individuals to take action to make the world a better place for people, other animals, and the environment. The program welcomes part-time or full-time undergraduate, graduate, or gap year students ages 18-24. Fellows will be mentored throughout the 10-month term as they develop professional skills and receive a stipend of $3,000 to support their project.
For up to 13 weeks over the summer, Future Leaders in Action (“FLIA”) places fellows, emerging social sector leaders in youth-oriented nonprofit organizations to develop or implement enrichment programs which cultivate their leadership skills. Fellows work full-time, on-site with a partner on an enrichment program that focuses on one of the following areas: advancing skills for success, promoting public health and protecting the environment. There are fellowships available in New York, Portland and Iowa and past partners have included Boys & Girls Clubs, the Fiver Children’s Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters and other health related organizations.
PGI’s MBA Fellowship is a highly selective,10-week paid opportunity that matches Fellows with one of our high-impact partner organizations that use business as a force for good. The Fellowship also gives participants the opportunity to learn from social & environmental impact industry experts and gain access to over 50+ hours of learning, reflection, and practice to grow purposefully during their career path.
New America CA Fellow
The goal of the New America Fellows program is to find bold, iconoclastic California-based thinkers and to provide financial support for one year. This tenure is designed to be long enough so that they can improve their ability to tell compelling stories about their work, expand their capacity to reach targeted audiences through media, determine if their idea is replicable in other locations or nationally, and be long enough to be able to build a real community among the fellows. Fellows receive a financial stipend of $30,000 per year.
The Returning Citizens Fellowship provides leadership development opportunities to formerly incarcerated, emerging leaders to transform the stigma of incarceration while upholding the dignity and humanity of all people, regardless of relationship to the criminal justice system. Fellows will learn new leadership skills at conferences offered 4 times annually. The conference allows for many networking opportunities and integration into a larger community of social justice leaders. Tuition, as well as double-occupancy room and board for the two training sessions, is covered. Fellows may also receive funds for travel reimbursement as needed.
The Roddenberry Fellowship is a 12-month program for activists from across the country who are working to protect the most vulnerable and to make the US a more inclusive and equitable place to live. Twenty Fellows will be selected to receive $50,000 each, as well as tailored support, to help implement a project or initiative in one of four areas: civil rights, climate change and environmental justice, immigration and refugee rights, and LGBTQIA and women’s rights. Fellows are free to try different approaches to achieve impact and the organization provides 1-on-1 coaching as well as other mentoring resources.
The Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program is a nation-wide competition for women entrepreneurs. Each Fellow will participate in a one year program which includes: mentoring, networking and business guidance for one year, a $10,000 grant to further their business education, and a 3-day trip to New York City to the Tory Burch headquarters that will include the opportunity to participate in a pitch competition. The winner of the pitch competition will receive $100,000 grant investment. Your company must be registered and operated in the United States.
Each year, Wild Gift selects a small group of “better world entrepreneurs” for a 12-month Fellowship that includes mentoring, fundraising support, and wilderness-based programs that teach leadership and business skills while building a lifelong support network. Each Fellowship begins with a 20-day team expedition in the Idaho wilderness. The expedition challenges each Fellow physically and emotionally and connects them to the natural world on a very personal level. After a year of monthly video calls and mentoring, Fellows return to Idaho to reconnect and float the Salmon River. At the conclusion of the Fellowship, Fellows are welcomed into an active group of alumni and supporters.
Global Social Entrepreneurs
The Accountability Incubator Lab’s flagship initiative to provide passionate and innovative young leaders from Nepal, Pakistan, Liberia, Mali and Nigeria with catalytic support to develop and implement low-cost, high-impact solutions for accountability in their communities. The two-year intensive program provides accountapreneurs with: training and knowledge building; hands-on mentoring and management support; network and community building; media outreach; and up to $10,000 in seed funding contingent upon performance. Participants are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week in order to effectively develop their project.
The Acumen East Africa Fellows Program is a one-year, fully-funded leadership development program that gives 20 individuals from across East Africa the training they need to accelerate their social impact and leadership potential. Fellows participate in five seminars and travel and accommodations are covered. During each seminar, Fellows receive world-class trainings on topics ranging from design thinking to adaptive leadership. Candidates are entrepreneurs who started their own organization, or individuals who are influencing change within an existing organization.
The Regional Fellows Program is a one-year leadership development program that equips 20 extraordinary individuals from across India with the knowledge, support system and practical wisdom to unlock their full potential and drive positive change in society. Over the course of a year, Fellows remain in their jobs while taking part in five week-long seminars, where they receive the tools, training and space to innovate new ideas, accelerate their impact, build a strong network of social leaders from across their region and around the world. All costs associated with participating in the program are covered. Candidates are Indians of all ages and education levels.
The Regional Fellows Program is a one-year leadership development program that equips 20 extraordinary individuals from across Pakistan with the knowledge, support system and practical wisdom to unlock their full potential and drive positive change in society. Over the course of a year, Fellows remain in their jobs while taking part in five week-long seminars, where they receive the tools, training and space to innovate new ideas, accelerate their impact, build a strong network of social leaders from across their region and around the world. All costs associated with participating in the program are covered. Candidates are Pakistanis of all ages and education levels who are able to participate in a program conducted in English.
Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who we recognize to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society. Ashoka Fellows work in over 70 countries around the globe in every area of human need. From nomination to election as a Fellow, candidates go through an extensive series of in-depth interviews, a judging panel, and a final executive board vote. There are no age, education, class, race, or other such bars to election. The three year fellowship includes a living stipend to cover all expenses (customized for each Fellow). Applications accepted all year round on a rolling basis.
The BHSI Fellowship was designed and created in 2011 by Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand as a way of advancing the next generation of social innovators, entrepreneurs and change agents. The BHSI Fellows are hosted in Chicago for Chicago Ideas Week, which is in October each year. All expenses are paid. Fellows gain exposure for their organization, establish a community of support, and receive a $10,000 financial contribution to their venture. All applicants must be 35 years of age or younger. Applicants may be from anywhere in the world and ventures may be for-profit or not-for-profit entities.
BRAC, the world’s largest NGO, is looking for the next big innovator to join their tribe by applying for BRAC Social Innovation Fellowship. The fellowship will support a young person (age 18-35) to complete a design thinking journey with BRAC, from problem framing to ideation and testing the solution on the ground. Fellows will have access to BRAC resources including a network of mentors that will help them throughout the 1-year fellowship. Fellows will be provided with office space, a monthly stipend, and a round-trip ticket from their home country to the country of deployment. Applicants from around the world are invited to apply.
The Cansbridge Fellowship seeks to build future leaders through a program that fosters growth through creating new ideas and using a powerful network for change. Leaders and entrepreneurs who think outside the box and who have a past as risk-takers are invited to apply. Fellowship includes international work experience in Asia, a conference in San Francisco and access to the Cansbridge Global Network. Applicants must be undergraduates currently enrolled in a Canadian college or university and pursuing a degree in business, science, design or technology.
Cordes Fellowships provide exceptional social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders engaged in poverty alleviation and economic justice enterprises the opportunity to participate as Delegates in the Opportunity Collaboration, a four-day problem-solving, strategic retreat. Cordes Fellows attend the full Opportunity Collaboration and take part in all Delegate sessions. The all-inclusive Cordes Fellowship includes all on-site costs for housing and meals (5 nights lodging, 3 meals per day), gratuities, airport shuttle, etc. All Fellows are responsible for their own roundtrip airfare. Financial need is a primary consideration.
The d.school teaching fellowship is a 12.5 month program aimed at developing excellence in the experiential teaching and learning of design thinking. Fellows are creative professionals excited about the future of design and science, the intersection of k12 education and systems design, or the possibilities of merging design with public policy. Fellows teach courses, work in small groups and have a high degree of autonomy. Candidates must have significant design and design thinking experience outside of school, currently work as a designer or in a creative role and hold a Master’s Degree or higher.
The DRK Foundation seeks to dramatically improve the lives of people and the world around us through innovative strategies, systems changing approaches, and disrupting technologies. To do this, the DRK Foundation partners with entrepreneurs to build strong and capable organizations. DRK grants provide significant funding, mentorship and an unparalleled network of entrepreneurs. Candidates must be experienced, dedicated social entrepreneurs with a developed, early-stage idea for a non-profit organization based in the United States. The DRK Foundation provides $300,000 in unrestricted startup funding, paid over 3 years.
The Echoing Green Climate Fellowship, built in partnership with the ZOOM Foundation, was launched for leaders committed to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Echoing Green is interested in applications from social entrepreneurs interested in the full spectrum of mitigation and adaptation responses. This can be anything from a US-based technological solution to a developing world-based community organizing solution. Fellows receive a stipend paid in four equal installments over two years ($80,000 for individuals; $90,000 for two-person partnerships), in addition to health insurance and professional development stipends.
Echoing Green’s world-renowned, and highly competitive, two-year Fellowship program provides more than $2 million in seed funding to a diverse group of the world’s most promising social entrepreneurs. Fellows receive up to $90,000 in funding to launch new organizations, health insurance and professional development stipends, access to Echoing Green’s robust network (500+ alumni), leadership development opportunities, and one-to-one support and counseling. Applicants must be fluent in English, have an independent social entrepreneurship organization in the startup stage (2 years or less), and be committed full-time to their venture.
European Commission: Individual Fellowships
The goal of the Individual Fellowships is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers, wishing to diversify their individual competence in terms of skill acquisition through advanced training, international and inter-sectoral mobility. There are options to research and contribute to innovation in a European context and reintegrate researchers that have worked in Europe before. Fellowships last 18-24 months and some require a mandatory return to a European host country of 12 months after research is conducted.
The Global Good Fund accelerates the development of high potential young leaders tackling the world’s greatest social issues through entrepreneurship. We achieve this by investing both targeted human and financial capital in these leaders through our 12 month fellowship program. We support our Fellows in their natural work environments, craft personalized Leadership Development Plans, and pair Fellows with personalized executive coaches through implementation with up to $10,000 in funding. We additionally provide fellows with leadership assessment resources, a network of peer leaders, and sector expertise.
The GSBI Accelerator program is a 10-month, mentored program for established social entrepreneurs who are looking to scale their businesses. Programs will coach, educate, and prepare fellows to better articulate mission, impact model, and business plans. Ideal candidates lead an existing for-profit, nonprofit, or hybrid enterprise, are a mid-stage enterprise (3+ years) ready for scale and investment and can develop innovative solutions to provide sustainable paths out of poverty with mentorship. Fellowships consist of 3 parts: online mentorship, in-residence mentorship and implementation – costs of program are covered for accepted fellows.
The Halcyon Incubator program equips early-stage social entrepreneurs with the support they need to transform audacious ideas into scalable and sustainable ventures, and change the world. Fellows learn many aspects of running a business, receive mentorship throughout the entire process and make connections that will benefit them as they move forward with their idea. The fellowship includes a 5-month residency at the Halcyon House in Washington, DC, workspace after the initial training and a stipend. Available to social entrepreneurs from around the world who are fluent in English and have legal work status in the U.S. during the time of the fellowship.
The Henry Crown Fellowship Program, established in 1997, seeks to develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders, providing them with the tools necessary to meet the challenges of business and civic leadership in the 21st century. Each class of Fellows is chosen from a wide pool of accomplished entrepreneurial leaders (between the ages of 30 and 45). The two-year program is comprised of a structured series of four seminars (approximately 24 days in total) under the guidance of skilled senior moderators of the Aspen Institute along with a required leadership Venture of each Fellow’s own design and choosing. Individuals cannot apply for the Henry Crown Fellowship Program; they must be nominated by recognized leaders.
The Impact Entrepreneurship Fellowship is a two-year cohort experience for high-potential leaders from diverse backgrounds who are committed to creating social impact through entrepreneurship while pursuing a master’s degree at The New School. Fellows benefit from courses, mentorship, peer support, workshops, networking opportunities, and the opportunity to complete a Graduate Minor in Impact Entrepreneurship. They may receive an award of up to $10,000 over two years for participation in the Fellowship.
The India Fellow Program seeks to train and empower the next generation of leaders in India. The fellowship is for 13 months and includes training, working and mentoring components. The fellow will participate in several workshops that build leadership and problem solving skills. Fellows work with a grassroots organization brainstorming ideas and helping the organization grow. A stipend is included to cover costs while working and fellows will have access to mentors and networking opportunities throughout the fellowship. Fellows must be Indian citizens, 21-28 years of age and have a university degree.
The Laureate Global Fellowship is a pioneering youth social entrepreneurship program working to redefine how young people lead change. Young founders and co-founders (between 18-29 years old) of social ventures are invited to apply to a yearlong program of coaching and leadership training. The leadership development courses are done virtually and in-person to help fellows as they develop their ideas and implement them. After the fellowship year, fellows will still enjoy access to the program’s resources and network as they continue their work. Applicants from any nation are invited to apply, but fluency in English is required.
As a strategic initiative of LGT Impact Ventures, the LGT Impact Fellowship aims to provide additional know-how and capacity to social enterprises and offers professionals the opportunity to apply their skills in a meaningful way. Eligible candidates have an undergraduate degree and at least two years of full-time work experience in diverse business areas such as consulting, finance, operations, data analytics, IT, M&E, sales, product development or marketing. Fellows work full-time for one year based on a monthly living stipend with our portfolio companies or regional investment teams in Africa, Brazil, China, India, the Philippines or the UK.
Next Generation Leaders Program
The McCain Institute’s flagship Next Generation Leaders program is designed to identify, train, network and empower a diverse group of emerging, character-driven leaders from the United States and around the world. The NGL program offers emerging global leaders one year of targeted professional and personal development—with a core focus on values, ethics and leadership—in order to create a capable and lasting global network of character-driven leaders who shape the world we will inhabit in the future. Early and mid-career professionals of any nationality are invited to apply but applicants must be fluent in English.
Rainer Arnhold Fellows are social entrepreneurs with particularly promising solutions to the big problems in health, poverty, and conservation in the Third World. Fellows are recruited through our network of leaders, thinkers, and doers in the social and private sectors. The Fellows course brings Fellows and faculty together for a week to work on design for maximum impact and scalability. Held in a mountain nature preserve, the course gives Fellows the rare opportunity to focus completely on their ideas and a systematic way to apply them. Fellowships are for two years and include a discretionary stipend of $10k/year.
Resolution Fellowships recognize young leaders for their initiative and innovation in addressing social challenges through social entrepreneurship. Resolution provides Fellows with access to a full ecosystem for a new social entrepreneur. This includes seed funding of up to $3,000 per team to launch the venture proposed for a Social Venture Challenge, along with ongoing mentorship, pro bono services, robust support and access to the Resolution network. You must be a current undergraduate student in college or university and a Founder of the Social Venture you are proposing. Please check the websites for upcoming Challenges.
If you are between 18 and 30 years old with vision and a ground-breaking proposal that will help to expand knowledge of our world and improve the quality of life on the planet, apply for a Rolex Award. Five inspiring Young Leaders will receive 100,000 francs each, double the previous amount offered to winners in this age group. They will also benefit from worldwide publicity and receive a Rolex chronometer. Applications must be broadly in the areas of the environment, applied science and technology, or exploration. In addition to demonstrating a spirit of enterprise and leadership, candidates must put forward projects or work plans that have a clear purpose, are original and have the potential for significant impact.
The Eurasia Foundation’s US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) “Independent Professionals Project Initiative” is open to individuals from the U.S. and Russia who are interested in implementing bilateral projects focused on (1) Community Engagement and Volunteerism (2) Social inclusion of people with disabilities (3) Social entrepreneurship (4) Youth Engagement and Mentorship. Competitively selected candidates travel to an organization in the host country for 14 to 21 days to conduct activities related to their proposed project and will implement follow-up activities after returning to their home country. Independent professionals are strongly encouraged to have at least a working proficiency with both the English and Russian languages.
We provide funding for dynamic leaders who are at the forefront of social change. We identify amazing people, give them a fellowship grant, and multiply the money they put into their projects by a factor of ten or more. We are looking for social innovators who are helping to change the world for the better and are looking for some support through an innovative social investment model. The value of the grant is the equivalent of a year’s salary, a contribution towards expenses plus access to a travel allowance. In addition, the Fellow will have access to potential project funding from the Foundation. Check website for deadline updates.
Each year, the Biodesign Program has two U.S.-based fellowship teams of four graduate and/or postgraduate engineers, business professionals, bioscientists and physicians who collaborate to invent new technologies that address major clinical and surgical needs. All of the fellows complete a 10-month program, stipend supported. In addition to Stanford clinical and engineering faculty, the teams are mentored by over 100 “real world” experts in design, prototyping, regulatory, reimbursement, finance and technology. Applicants with a background in engineering, medicine, biosciences or relevant business /technology are encouraged to apply.
TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East together with their professional counterparts in the United States for a mentorship and exchange program. TechWomen provides participants access to networks, resources, and knowledge to empower them to reach their full potential. During the five-week program, participants engage in project-based mentorships at leading companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley and participate in professional development workshops. Applicants must be women with, at minimum, two years full-time professional experience in the STEM fields and eligible to obtain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa.
The Thiel Fellowship is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. The Fellowship brings together some of the world’s most creative and motivated young people (under age 22), and helps them bring their most ambitious ideas and projects to life. Thiel Fellows are given a no-strings-attached grant of $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education. They are mentored by our network of visionary thinkers, investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who provide guidance and business connections that can’t be replicated in any classroom. Rather than just studying, you’re doing.
The Voqal Fellowship is an investment in a new generation of social entrepreneurs working for social justice, progressive politics or transformative media and technology. Voqal Fellows will receive a $30,000 stipend and will be expected to complete a project in six months. Candidates must have 3-5 years of work experience and may not be currently enrolled in a graduate program. The fellowship is intended to provide an opportunity to build out an idea or concept that would not be possible to accomplish with a full-time job. Qualifying fellows may also be eligible to receive an additional stipend to help offset the cost of personal health insurance. Ideal candidates for the fellowship are social change agents who thrive under self-direction.
Launched by U.S. President Barack Obama, the YALI Regional Leadership Centers in Africa provide high-quality training, mentoring, and networking support to exceptional young African leaders between the ages 18 and 35. Four Regional Leadership Centers in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa. Selected cohorts of participants engage in innovative leadership training across three tracks of study: (1) Business and Entrepreneurship, (2) Civic Leadership, and (3) Public Management. The program covers the cost of travel, housing and meals and the customized academic and leadership course. Deadlines vary by Center, check website.
The Young Professionals Program for Legal Empowerment (YPPLE) aims to equip young legal professionals to become powerful change agents. The programme teaches fellows to develop a holistic understanding of how grassroots legal empowerment plays a catalytic role in bringing social change. The 2-year fellowship is open to young law graduates/legal professionals in India who wish to pursue a career in the field of human rights as lawyers, practitioners, researchers or academics. Fellows will engage in field based research and contribute to the advocacy work of their assigned organization. A monthly stipend of Rs. 25,000 is provided.
© Victoria Johnson 2019, all rights reserved.