Social enterprise leaders named on New Year’s Honours List

A handful of social enterprise leaders have been recognised in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List.

The honours system, awarded by the Queen, recognises people who have made achievements in public life, committed to helping Britain and in most cases ‘made life better for other people’, according to the UK government website. Anyone can nominate, and an independent committee reviews the nominations and makes the final decision.

An OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) was awarded to Graham Bell for services to education, residential child care and social enterprise. Bell is CEO at Kibble, one of Scotland's oldest charities and now a thriving social enterprise, and a board member at Social Enterprise Academy in Scotland. As the former chair, he guided its evolution from a small organisation to an international company working in 10 countries, according to local media reports.

Deborah Jean Oxley also received an OBE, for services to employee ownership and social enterprise. As CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, a UK membership body, Oxley has helped raise awareness of the employee-owned sector, which has grown by more than 10% a year for the past five years, according to the EOA website. Oxley is also a member of the Government’s Mutual Advisory Group, and in 2017 led the UK’s largest independent national inquiry into employee ownership.

Three social enterprise leaders were also awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), which ranks just below the OBE.

Colin Crooks received an MBE for services to disadvantaged people and the environment. A long-time advocate of community recycling, Crooks has set up several social enterprises, including Tree Shepherd, which he founded in 2012. The organisation has helped 700 people to start and grow their own business to date.

Also on the MBE list is Lucy Findlay, who founded Social Enterprise Mark CIC in 2010. Over the last ten years Findlay has developed the Social Enterprise Mark from a regional funded project to an internationally available accreditation, which provides a clear standard and definition for the sector. The Social Enterprise Mark has a presence in 11 countries.

Rosie Ginday was awarded an MBE for services to the community in Birmingham. Ginday is the founder of Miss Macaroon, which produces premium macaroons while providing training and career opportunities for young people, often care leavers experiencing difficulties.

Findlay and Ginday were both recognised in 2018’s WISE100 list.

Of the 1,148 people who received awards this year, 70% have undertaken work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity. The full list is available here.

Header photo by Roméo from Pexels