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 – UBS Award for Social Entrepreneurs 2022

The theme of Visionaris 2022 is "Building a Sustainable Future". In 2015, UN member countries decided to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 Goals, 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 for achieving a more sustainable future for all. 

Through Visionaris, 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 achievement of one or more of the following Sustainable Development Goals: 

UBS supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

Finalists Visionaris 2022

Finalists Visionaris 2021

Videos winner and finalists Visionaris 2020

Visionaris – Premio UBS al Emprendedor Social 2020

Manuel Wiechers


Manuel Wiechers - Iluméxico


Gina Badenoch – Ojos que Sienten
Daniel Serrano – Interculturalidad, Salud y Derechos (INSADE)
José Shabot – Construyendo y Creciendo

Winner and finalists of Visionaris 2020

Winner: Manuel Wiechers – Iluméxico

Iluméxico works to combat energy poverty in marginalized rural areas of the country through autonomous photovoltaic solar systems for both housing and community spaces (health clinics, schools, meeting centres and productive projects), through distribution platforms and a sustainable intervention model.

They operate in 10 states and are in virtually every region of Mexico, from Chiapas to Chihuahua.

ILUMÉXICO provides solar service for the different energy needs of families and communities that do not have access to the national electricity grid, and provides service and maintenance to installed solar systems, through a network of local technicians, who are young people from the regions where they work to whom they offer formal employment, training and provide them with opportunities for professional growth.

The organization contributes effectively to it SDP 7 mainly in goal 1. They are part of The Alliance 7.1 that will reach more than 80 thousand households by 2024 and reach coverage of 99.9% by 2030.

Gina Badenoch


Gina Badenoch – Ojos que Sienten

Ojos que Sienten seeks to transform paradigms about visual impairment, focusing on the strengths of people with disabilities. They teach sensory photography and human development, achieving a successful inclusion in the social, labor, educational and cultural fields.

Over the past 8 years, the model has evolved through which they seek to influence the development of leadership and including culture that increases diversity, as well as redesigning the processes of including recruitment managing to overcome the prejudices that limit us to see the potential of the person.

The organization contributes effectively to SDGs 1, 8 and 10 by offering decent work and opportunities that allow people with disabilities to be included in the workplace and social sphere in a dignified and equal opportunity manner.

Daniel Serrano


Daniel Serrano – Interculturalidad, Salud y Derechos (INSADE)

INSADE generates options for social reintegration and economic autonomy in populations that have decided to stop delinquency. Through their model, created together with their beneficiaries, they provide them with tools so that they can undertake or work in freedom and not return to crime. They follow up on all participants.

The organization's work is systemic, accompanying participants when they are locked up, preparing them when they are about to leave, and accompanying and strengthening them when they are at large. They operate in more than 5 cities in Mexico and most of them with high rates of violence: Tlaxcala, Nuevo León, Mexico City, State of Mexico and Yucatan. This year they will start in Baja California Sur, Oaxaca and San Luis Potosí.

The organization contributes effectively to SDS 5, 8 and 16.

José Shabot


José Shabot - Construyendo y Creciendo

Construyendo y Creciendo offers quality formal education, free of charge, to construction workers, segment with high educational lag (47% did not complete primary school).

The classrooms  and courses are carried out inside the construction sites. There students receive educational accompaniment with multilevel adult counseling, prompt them to learn to read and write, finish elementary, junior high and high school, and learn the use of technology. They are also offered courses in craftsmanship, personal development and financial education.

Three pillars are worked: quality education, job training and human development, complementary so that the worker has greater self-esteem and better opportunities. Knowledge of health and gender equality issues are encouraged.

The organization contributes effectively to SDS 3, 4, 5, 10 and 17.

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