The UBS Social Innovators program



In July 2016, UBS launched a search for Social Innovators who would benefit the most from access to the unique network and expertise of UBS, the world's leading wealth manager.

We invited eligible social enterprises 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. Applications closed on 31 August, with more than 1200 Social Enterprises looking to take part.

After careful consideration we invited 12 shortlisted social enterprises from each region to join us at Regional Bootcamps and Summits in October. The Bootcamps, designed with input from Ashoka, the leading Social Entrepreneurs network, provided an opportunity for all the regional shortlisted candidates to convene, network and collaborate. They were attended by UBS employees, UBS partners and experts from Ashoka who act as coaches and mentors to the shortlisted candidates. 

At each Bootcamp, we selected four Regional Finalists and invited them to pitch their social enterprise at the Regional Summits. There, the jury will select the UBS Social Innovator and three runners-up in each region.

Find out about the finalists here and the other shortlisted candidates here


At UBS we believe that the private sector has a crucial role to play in tackling society's most pressing challenges. We also see an increasing demand from our clients to contribute to solving these challenges. And we believe that the growing social investment market can meet some of this demand. The UBS Social Innovators program will play a role in helping to develop the growing social investment market by supporting social entrepreneurs who are addressing poorly met social or environmental needs, transforming the way societies work and generating positive social impact.

UBS Social Innovators is an initiative of UBS and Society, UBS’s cross-divisional platform covering all of UBS’s activities and capabilities in sustainability and philanthropy.

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.


Our commitment to the 2016 UBS Social Innovators

Network Access

Get feedback on your project from some of the world's most influential philanthropists and social investors.

Mentoring and Advice

Take advantage of our brightest minds to help you to overcome your biggest challenges. Receive mentoring and advice from experts from UBS, Ashoka and from across our global network.


In each region, earn a USD 40,000 grant for the UBS Social Innovator or one of three regional finalists grants of USD 5,000.


Realize and maximize your impact with our year-long bespoke support package, co-designed with Ashoka, to propel your social or environmental innovation to the next level.