Sweet success for Divine Chocolate at SEUK awards

Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) has named Divine Chocolate the UK's Social Enterprise of the Year at its 16th annual awards bash in London.

Hosted by Great British Bake Off comedian Sue Perkins, the awards recognised the achievements of social enterprises and supporters in 11 categories, including Environmental Social Enterprise, Women’s Champion and Inspiring Youth Enterprise.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of SEUK, said: "Each year the awards help shine a light on the extraordinary work social enterprises are doing to help people and planet.

"Competition was tougher than ever this year and the shortlist was bursting with inspiring examples of how businesses can have a positive impact on society – the winners deserve to be widely recognised and celebrated.”

As part of ‘Buy Social’ – SEUK’s campaign to get more businesses and consumers to buy from social enterprises – the awards featured a number of social enterprises in its supply chain, including bottled water brand Belu, caterers Brigade Bar & Bistro, beer maker Two Fingers Brewing, and photographers Mediorite, among others.

Ethical bottled water social enterprise Belu took home the Consumer Facing award at this year's ceremony. Their CEO Karen Lynch said: "We are over the moon to win such a prestigious award. We want to show mainstream consumers that it couldn’t be easier to buy social.

"With Belu easily available in places like Jamie’s Italian, Sainsbury’s, Zizzi and Café Rouge – why not decide to buy something that as well as doing good, makes you feel good too?”

Full list of 2014 winners:

Overall Social Enterprise of the Year – Divine Chocolate

One to Watch – Monwel Ltd

Social Impact – Furnishing Lives (FRC Group)

Buy Social Market Builder – City of London Corporation

Investment Deal of the Year – Ethex & PEC Renewables

Health and Social Care – Social adVentures

Consumer Facing – Belu

Education, Training and Jobs – PM Training

Environmental – Kilsyth Community Market Garden t/a Kelvin Valley Honey 

Inspiring Youth Enterprise – Firstport and Icecream Architecture

Women's Champion – June O’Sullivan MBE, London Early Years Foundation


Photo credit: SEUK