The annual awards, for which entrepreneurs have to apply, honour individuals from across the globe who come up with innovative and effective approaches to resolving critical social issues.
Other award winners this year include a French businessman building networks to prevent the abuse of street children in Cambodia, two American environmentalists whose “ecological footprint” enables organisations to measure their environmental impact, and a community activist who helps villages in India run sustainable sanitation and clean water facilities.
The Marine Stewardship Council will use its grant, which will be paid over three years, to further its work in promoting a sustainable global fishing industry.
“One million dollars is a substantial sum of money and will make a big difference to us,” said Howes. “So many organisations like ours are underfunded in terms of the challenges they face.”
Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation added: “Rupert has demonstrated those key characteristics of a successful social entrepreneur: inspiration, creativity, direct action, courage and fortitude.”
Howes will be presented with the award by eBay founder, Jeff Skoll, in a ceremony on 28 March at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University.
A full list of winners can be found at the Skoll Foundation’s website.