NatWest SE100 2019: What is it and how does it work?


What is the SE100?

NatWest SE100 Index is a collaborative initiative of Pioneers Post and NatWest that recognises and celebrates the leading 100 social enterprises across the UK each year.

The SE100 index goes back to 2010, when Pioneers Post and NatWest decided to launch an Index to gather insight and market intelligence about the UK social enterprise sector – and to celebrate the leading social enterprises in the UK.

Its objectives were to put the facts and figures behind the fantastic stories of change that characterise the sector – and to forge a better understanding, within the sector and amongst the wider public, of the exciting, pioneering and successful organisations that identify themselves as social enterprises in the UK.


How does it work?

For the SE100 (Social Enterprise Top 100), awards will be handed out on a special celebration event on the 28 March, Bishopsgate, London.

NatWest and Pioneers Post will work to identify 100 organisations from across the UK to be given an Award, in each of the seven categories outlined below, who can nominate himself/herself or is nominated by any member of the public (there is 1 Award which will go to an invidivial, which is in the "Leadership" category). 

Our panel of judges, experts in the field of social enterprise and social investment, will select 100 nominees demonstrating best business practice in seven categories: Growth, Impact, Trailblazing Newcomer, Resilience, Storyteller, Leadership and Investment.


The deadline for entries is Thurday, 14 February 2019.


What are the criteria?

With the following criteria in mind, the jury will be looking for real pioneers who moved the social enterprise and impact investment sector forward:

Growth: for social ventures that have experienced positive, financial growth from one year to the next thanks to an entrepreneurial and sustainable business model 


Impact: for enterprises that take considerable measures to demonstrate and communicate the social or environmental impact of their business, using this to improve their performance and win new business


Trailblazing Newcomer: for new enterprises (under 3 years trading) who have made great strides to become a leader among their peers, combining solid growth with a commitment to proving their positive impact


Resilience: for social ventures that continually deliver positive social or environmental change and repeatedly achieve impact goals, successfully tackling challenges and overcoming difficulties​


Storytelling: for social ventures that have created and delivered a brilliant communications campaign to drive the impact and scale of their activity


Leadership: for social enterprise bosses demonstrating excellent leadership, effectiveness and inspiration in taking the team on a mission-driven journey to success

Investment: for groundbreaking or innovative deals in social / impact investment



The decision of the jury will be final and binding.

We look forward receiving your applications/nominations! 


How can I submit my entry?

Every social enterprise can apply themselves or can be nominated by a third party.

All the awards use the same application form, which is also the form for the top 100 assessment.

You can apply in one of the six categories (the Investment category is already closed).


What are the timescales for the SE100 2019?


  • Applications will close Thursday 14 Febuary 2019 but please enter as soon as possible.
  • The shortlisting and due diligence for the Top 100 across the categories, demonstrating best business practice per category, will be done during February 2019.
  • The judges, a panel of industry leaders, will select 7 winners – 1 per category - out of the Top 100, their judgment is binding and this will happen end of February / beginning March 2019.
  • The full SE100 list 2019 including the 7 Award winners will be announced at the special celebration event on Thursday 28 March 2019, at NatWest in Bishopsgate.
  • Post-event, our teams will work with all Top 100 social enterprises on a survey to gather more in-depth sector information.


Why should social enterprises enter?

Winners will benefit from high-profile endorsement of their work, a specially produced film about their organisation, further media coverage in Pioneers Post, and involvement in a community of peers.

A place on the SE100 list is a fantastic opportunity for social enterprises large and small to gain peer recognition and endorsement of their work. Each of the 100 selected organisations will also benefit from further media coverage in Pioneers Post throughout 2019, as well as involvement in a community of peers through the SE100 network.


I've been listed on the SE100 before, can I enter again?

Yes, the SE100 recognises the top 100 in a given year, so you are more than welcome to apply again.

How much does it cost to enter?

Nothing! There's no entry fee. 

Tickets to the SE100 celebration event will also be free and open to all but must be booked in advance. Keep an eye on our website for details of tickets.


What are the seven categories?

The Top 100 social enterprises on the SE100 demonstrate best business practice in the following seven categories:

  • Growth
  • Impact
  • Trailblazing Newcomer
  • Resilience
  • Storyteller
  • Leadership
  • Investment

Each category corresponds to an Award. 

Six of the categories – Growth, Impact, Trailblazing Newcomer, Resilience, Storyteller and Investment – will see an Award handed out to an organisation.

The Leadership Award will be given to an individual.


Can I enter more than one category?

Yes. Each category will require you to submit certain information, so as long as your entry is complete for multiple categories the judges will consider your submission.


Why is the SE100 based on an entry form this time, and not on our SE100 profile as in previous years?

Our SE100 was initially based on detailed data collection, submitted by social enterprises, that provided an extensive “Index” of the social enterpirse sector – no one was collecting this data at that time. As we grew to more than 3,000 organisations it became harder to collect in-depth information.

Now that Social Enterprise UK publishes its "State of the Sector Report" on a regular basis (with average turnover, size etc.), we wanted to return to the original idea of a Top 100 and specifically focus on gathering more in-depth insight from the top 100 social enterprises in any given year.

Once the Top 100 list is defined, the teams of Pioneers Post and NatWest will undertake further research into these 100 enterprises. This provides added value with more in-depth information, so we'll work with a smaller sample but more in-depth data, in order to gain valuable business insights for the sector.

This information also functions as an example for other social enterprises, aligning with Pioneers Post's mission to "help you do good business, better".


What happens with our information?

Your confidential information will be stored on a secure database and will not be shared publicly. It will be sonly hared by our team of co-ordinators and judges for due diligence purposes. Key facts about winners and shortlisted candidates will be shared as part of the publicity for the awards.

Where can I get more information?

Please send all enquiries to: You can also contact our the Pioneers Post team by calling 020 3941 2400.


Read more stories from previous SE100 winners in our NatWest SE100 Collection