The winner of the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016 has been announced as Edinburgh based social entrepreneur of Remade in Edinburgh.
Following a close-run competition that saw almost 14,000 members of the public vote for their favourite, Sophie was presented the award last night at a ceremony at Old Broad Street by entrepreneur and social innovator Oli Barrett MBE.
Sophie was one of five finalists shortlisted for the national Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the 2015/2016 cohort of the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs.
Sophie Unwin is the founder of Remade in Edinburgh, a social enterprise which teaches people how to repair household goods (computers, furniture and textiles), runs repair and upcycling workshops, sells affordable refurbished goods and campaigns for zero waste.
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Carolyn Edwards of Genie In The Gutter in Liverpool took home the second prize of £6,000 and Adam Annand of London Bubble in London was awarded £4,000 in third place.
The awards ceremony in London was catered by social entrepreneurs who have been supported by the programme. A marketplace provided an opportunity for social entrepreneurs to showcase the work of their social businesses: including artisan chocolates made by young people with autism, healthy products made from surplus fruit, coffee brewed by homeless people retrained as baristas, and sustainably harvested Cornish seaweed.
The £10,000 prize will help us to share our business model with other communities across the UK and could create thousands of jobs.
On winning the award Sophie said: “I am delighted to win the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The £10,000 prize will help us to share our business model with other communities across the UK and could create thousands of jobs. Having the support of the Social Entrepreneurs Programme and my Lloyds Banking Group mentor this past year, and being able to learn from a fantastic team and fellow social entrepreneurs, has been a greatly rewarding experience and has been extremely valuable for my own personal development and for Remade in Edinburgh.”
Oli Barrett MBE, presenter of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award said: “It has been a fantastic evening presenting the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and it has been a privilege to meet so many passionate social entrepreneurs developing such diverse projects to create real change in society. Sophie is a very worthy winner and I look forward to seeing how she continues to develop Remade in Edinburgh.
Paula Rogers, Head of the Social Entrepreneurs Programme at Lloyds Banking Group said: “Sophie is very deserving winner of the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs of the Year Award 2016 and I offer my personal congratulations to her. This year’s finalists have made remarkable progress with the support of the Social Entrepreneurs Programme, which sits right at the heart of our commitment to helping Britain prosper and I am excited to see their projects continue to flourish and bring long-lasting benefit to their communities”.
Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs said: “It has been fantastic to see the progress of Remade in Edinburgh over the past year and I am thrilled that she has been named the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur of the Year. I have witnessed her project grow into a successful and sustainable enterprise and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Sophie”.
The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs with support from the Big Lottery Fund, provides financial support (grants of £4,000 and £15,000) and comprehensive learning support including a business mentoring scheme.
Now entering its fifth year, 300 entrepreneurs have this month joined the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, with 300 graduating from the year-long funded programme.
Launched in 2012, the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme is designed to support social entrepreneurs in communities and, through them, help stimulate economic growth and regeneration across the UK. Recent research commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund demonstrates the positive impact of the programme on people, businesses and communities and by 2017 the programme will have created over 7,000 jobs and supported 1.1 million beneficiaries.