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: www.the-sse.org/SEYA 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.