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Nominees Announced For Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016



Today five entrepreneurs are in with a chance of winning £10,000 as they have been shortlisted for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016. They are graduates from the 2015/2016 cohort of the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs.

The finalists are championing diverse social causes – from gender diversity and trans rights, to using gardening to support army veterans. One is helping thousands of children with communication problems through theatre; another promotes zero waste and the repair economy; another is rehabilitating substance-misusers through creativity.

The entrepreneurs have each received 12 months of learning support in the form of a grant and a business mentor from the bank to help develop their social enterprises. This year’s shortlist showcases a fantastic range of entrepreneurial ideas and creative innovation.

The five finalists on the Social Entrepreneur of the Year shortlist, who are in with the chance of winning the £10,000 grand prize award, are:

· Adam Annand, London Bubble, London: London Bubble’s social franchise programme which supports communication development in young children across the UK through drama. A playful, nurturing intervention that builds confidence and communication skills

· Carolyn Edwards, Genie In The Gutter, Liverpool: a bridge-to-recovery service supporting active substance misusers through the provision of an extensive schedule of recovery, creative and performance based sessions and 1:1 support

· Donna Rowe-Green, Dig In North West, Lancashire: a social enterprise which provides peer-support to military veterans through activities such as gardening and carpentry as a means to grow confidence and reduce social isolation

· Jay Stewart, Gendered Intelligence, London: a social enterprise which aims to increase understanding of gender diversity through the trans youth programmes, support for parents and carers and professional development and trans awareness training

· Sophie Unwin, Remade in Edinburgh, Edinburgh: a social enterprise which teaches people how to repair household goods (computers, furniture and textiles), campaigns for zero waste, and sells affordable refurbished goods, will share its model with communities across the UK.

In addition to the grand prize award of £10,000, prizes of £6,000 and £4,000 will be awarded to the runner-ups, as voted for by the public.

Voting opens today, at: and closes on 28 October. To vote via text message text ‘SEYA’ and the name of your winner to 67076. Texts are free.

Paula Rogers, Head of the Social Entrepreneurs Enterprise Programme at Lloyds Banking Group said: “This year’s shortlist for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016 demonstrates the real diversity and creativity of the social entrepreneurs being supported through the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme.

It is amazing to be able to witness, first hand, the significant impact they are making in their local communities.

“Through our Helping Britain Prosper Plan we recognise that social enterprise is a key way to create sustainable social change as well as helping to stimulate economic growth and regeneration across the UK. All of those short listed are already winners in their own right but, like them, I await the final result with immense excitement.”

Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “Year upon year, I am astounded by the talent and passion of the social entrepreneurs being supported by the programme and the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016 is a wonderful way to celebrate this. Each of this year’s finalists has achieved so much already and they are creating real change for the benefit of the community, the environment and individuals. I wish the best of luck to all of this year’s finalists and I look forward to seeing who the public choose as their winner”.

Last year’s winner was Jem Stein, founder of the Bike Project which provides second-hand bikes to refugees in and around London, providing essential access to free transport in the city. Since becoming Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, Jem has expanded his networks and has been able to support more refugees and asylum seekers through more bike sales, donations and publicity and is aiming to support more people on a larger level.

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 from between £4,000 – £15,000) and comprehensive learning support including a business mentoring scheme.

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 7000 jobs and supported 1.1 million beneficiaries.

The winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016 will be announced on 02 November at a ceremony in London.


Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy



Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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How Going Green Can Save Your Business Thousands



Running a company isn’t easy. From reporting wages in an efficient way to meeting deadlines and targets, there’s always something to think about – with green business ideas giving entrepreneurs something extra to ponder. While environmental issues may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, it could save your business thousands, so let’s delve deeper into this issue.

Small waste adds up over time

A computer left on overnight might not seem like the end of the world, right? Sure, it’s a rather minor issue compared to losing a client or being refused a loan – but small waste adds up over time. Conserving energy is an effective money saver, so to hold onto that hard-earned cash, try to:

  • Turn all electrical gadgets off at the socket rather than leaving them on standby as the latter can crank up your energy bill without you even realizing.
  • Switch all lights off when you exit a room and try switching to halogen incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes as these can use up to 80 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent and are therefore more efficient.
  • Replace outdated appliances with their greener counterparts. Energy Star appliances have labels which help you to understand their energy requirements over time.
  • Draught-proof your premises as sealing up leaks could slash your energy bills by 30 per cent.

Going electronic has significant benefits

If you don’t want to be buried under a mountain of paperwork, why not opt for digital documents instead of printing everything out? Not only will this save a lot of money on paper and ink but it will also conserve energy and help protect the planet. You may even be entitled to one of the many tax breaks and grants issued to organizations committed to achieving their environmental goals. This is particularly good news for start-ups with limited funds as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is keen to support companies opening up their company in a green manner.

Of course, if you’re used to handing out brochures and leaflets at every company meeting or printing out newsletters whenever you get the chance, going electronic may be a challenge – but here are some things you can try:

  • Using PowerPoint presentations not printouts
  • Communicating via instant messenger apps or email
  • Using financial software to manage your books
  • Downloading accounting software to keep track of figures
  • Arranging digital feedback and review forms
  • Making the most of Google Docs

Going green can help you to make money too

Going green and environmental stability is big news at the moment with many companies doing their bit for the environment. While implementing eco-friendly strategies will certainly save you money, reducing your carbon footprint could also make you a few bucks too. How? Well, consumers care about what brands are doing more than ever before, with many deliberately siding with those who are implementing green policies. Essentially, doing your bit for the environment is a PR dream as it allows you to talk about what everyone wants to hear.

Going green can certainly save your money but it should also improve your reputation too and give you a platform to promote your business.

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