Civil society minister toasts top UK social enterprises

Rob Wilson MP presented Realise Futures CIC with the Trailblazing Newcomer prize at the RBS SE100 Awards in London at the end of the first day of the Good Deals social enterprise conference.

Five social enterprises were awarded a share of £30k at the awards which aim to highlight the strength of the sector and its ability to create both social change and economic growth nationwide.

The recently appointed minister for civil society said: “Social enterprises play an important role in supporting the economy and strengthening local communities right around the UK.

"Key to their continued growth will be their ability to demonstrate clearly the vital impact they are making and so I would encourage all social enterprises and charities to sign up to the SE100, which will help them to do this. The SE100 Index is a point of reference to the sector as the FTSE100 is to business."

Other winners of the night included Growth Champion Goodwill Solutions and Impact Champion Wellbeing Works. Mike Britton, managing director of Goodwill Solutions, said: "Social business is the business for tomorrow.

"Goodwill Solutions was started with the idea that instead of finding a social cause to support and trying to drive a business out of it, to actually to create a business whose sole purpose is to drive social change."

Two new award categories were also introduced at this year's ceremony for those social enterprises that have demonstrated unshakeable resilience and for those that have shown exceptional storytelling skills – something that is vital in order to promote the work of the sector. These awards were won by furniture, recycling and waste management social enterprise the FRC Group and John Taylor Hospice, which is a community interest company.

The winners were selected out of 1,365 social ventures listed on the SE100 Index, which is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Ian Cowie, chairman SME banking at RBS, said: “RBS has supported the SE100 Index since it first began five years ago, and it has now become an integral part of RBS Inspiring Enterprise, through which RBS is committed to unlocking and nurturing entrepreneurial talent – and giving social enterprises access to finance, markets and expertise.

"Congratulations to all five of the 2014 winners, it is a privilege to be recognising such fantastic and deserving organisations.” 


Photo credit: Nik Voigt, Matter&Co