UBS Award for Social Entrepreneurs

The UBS Visionaris Social Entrepreneurship Award was created in 2004 to recognize the work of leading social entrepreneurs in Mexico who are using innovative approaches to solve social problems. The award is organized annually in collaboration with Ashoka, an international NGO that promotes social entrepreneurs globally. A winner and three finalists are selected by an award committee comprised of Mexican philanthropists and the award itself is handed out at a special ceremony.

Through Visionaris, social entrepreneurs acquire four types of capital, the combination of which can act as catalysts for their social change activities:

Financial capital

Visionaris grants USD 25,000 to the winner and USD 5,000 to each of the finalists. The funds have been used for projects which have been strategic for the future of these organizations.

Social capital

Visionaris gives the opportunity to meet potential donors and share experiences and best practices with their peers, as well as experts. The media also publishes information regarding their initiatives.

Symbolic capital

Visionaris recognizes the work carried out by social entrepreneurs and motivates them to continue with their social change efforts.

Intellectual capital

Finalists are trained on project assessment, effective fundraising and tips on how to best present their initiatives. The winner will receive a pro bono consulting service provided by one of the leading global consulting firms.

Visionaris 2020

The theme of Visionaris 2020"is "Building a Sustainable Future". In 2015, UN member countries decided to adopt 17 Goals and 169 Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs"), as a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all humanity enjoys peace and prosperity by 2030. In other words, they were designed as a model to achieve a more sustainable future for all.

Given the magnitude of the problems these goals are involved in and the enormous cost associated with their treatment, it is necessary to achieve not only the participation of governments, but also of the business sector, philanthropic foundations and society in general. In these efforts, UBS believes that social entrepreneurs can play a key role for the SDGs.

Through Visionaris 2020, UBS aims this year to identify and reward those social entrepreneurs who, through their initiatives of high social or environmental impact and with an innovative and scalable approach, are contributing significantly to the one or more of the SDGs.

Learn more about SDGs and Togetherband

Visionaris 2019


Greta Ríos  - Ollin


Daniela Ancira – La Cana
Mauricio Martínez – La mano del mono
Tomás Darío – Colectivo Tomate

From left to right: Finalist Tomás Darío of Colectivo Tomate, Winner Greta Ríos of Ollin, Finalist Daniela Ancira of La Cana and Finalist Mauricio Martínez Miramontes of La Mano del Mono

The winner of Visionaris 2019 was chosen by a selection committee made up of 9 philanthropists and local entrepreneurs; and two executives from UBS. An award ceremony was held in Puebla with the attendance of more than 100 people including philanthropists, businessmen and members of civil society in Mexico.

After 16 events in Mexico, Visionaris has become an integral part of the country's philanthropic landscape. For philanthropists looking to support innovative approaches to solving social problems, Visionaris stands out as one of the pillars on which they can build their philanthropic practice. Talking about his participation in the Visionaris Selection Committee, a philanthropist mentioned that "it was an honor to be part of this jury." All the projects were excellent, and I would like to thank UBS and Ashoka for giving me the opportunity to learn about these social change initiatives".

Winner and finalists of Visionaris 2019

Winner Greta Ríos, Founder of Ollin

Winner Visionaris – UBS award for social entrepreneurs 2019 Greta Lucero Ríos Téllez Sill


Ollin works to generate a Mexico with solid institutions and citizens capable of transforming their reality through citizen participation. The objective of Ollin is for Mexico to have a long-term nation project and where there is a rule of law. To reach this objective it is necessary to promote solid institutions and train citizens capable of transforming their reality. On the one hand, it works with institutions (parties, government, civil society) to improve its processes of transparency, accountability, democratization and unrestricted respect for human rights. On the other hand, Ollin has direct contact with citizens to empower them to exercise their civil and political rights, particularly with regard to citizen participation mechanisms, accountability, democracy, monitoring and evaluation of public policies, through workshops and training.

Finalist Daniela Ancira of La Cana

Finalist Visionaris - UBS award for social entrepreneurs 2019 Daniela Ancira Ruiz

La Cana
Social reinsertion project

The goal of La Cana is to transform Mexican prisons into places of opportunity and not punishment when working with women to improve their quality of life and achieve their reintegration into society. They provide training and formal employment, complemented by a mental health program and a program of impact on public policies that seeks to create a regulatory framework to regulate work in prisons, promote formal employment within prison and guarantee basic labor conditions and benefits for incarcerated persons.

Finalist Mauricio Martínez Miramontes of La Mano del Mono

Finalist Visionaris – UBS award for social entrepreneurs 2019 Mauricio Martínez Miramontes

La  Mano Del Mono

Strengthens sustainable livelihoods of rural and indigenous communities associated with protected natural areas through a model that combines nature tourism, experiential education and social businesses to create strategic alliances for conservation and local development in Mexico.

Finalist Tomás Darío of Colectivo Tomate

Finalist Visionaris – UBS award for social entrepreneurs 2019 Tomas Dario Perez Vega

The Tomato Collective

The Tomato Collective (Colectivo Tomate) works mainly in neighborhoods that have historically been framed in narratives of violence or socio-spatial segregation. Through the project Mural City, the organization generates encounters and connections between participants to strengthen collective trust and transforms the environment, starting from narrating the identities of people through murals created in collaboration between artists and neighbors.

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