UK social enterprise ‘top 100’ launches with new Equality Award

Pioneers Post and NatWest are once again seeking entries for the NatWest SE100 Index & Social Business Awards. Don't miss your chance to be counted among the UK's top social enterprises this year – enter by midnight on 1 May via the online application form. If you want to view the entry form in full, you can also download the PDF here.

Register for the NatWest SE100 event on 23 June here!


A new Equality Award is being launched for this year's NatWest SE100 Awards – applications for which open today (Wednesday 13 April).

The new category – supported by the Social Investment Business (SIB) – will recognise social enterprises that are leading by example and inspiring others to embed equity, equality, diversity and inclusion into their organisations and their work in communities across the UK. 



Tim West, founding editor at Pioneers Post, said: “The new Equality Award aims to seek out the pioneers in social and racial justice working across the impact sector, and to learn from their work. We want the SE100 to highlight these issues and explore ways to bring about positive change.

“Each year we ask our network for feedback and many social entrepreneurs have called on us to give more focus to this area. We have created a new part of our SE100 survey to explore equality and diversity among our applicants, and we have asked a number of those leading policy and practice in the sector to advise us on the criteria and to take part in the judging process.”

Amir Rizwan headshot

Amir Rizwan (pictured left), chair of the Diversity Forum, which drives inclusive social investment in the UK, commented: “Social enterprises and social investors have made great strides in bringing in more intentional solutions to improve the level of equality within what they do. However, the sector still needs to do more to ensure that as a whole it is more representative so that money is reaching communities across the UK as well as organisations led by people from diverse backgrounds. I welcome these awards to celebrate and recognise the hard work being done by pioneers in this space looking to improve the level of equality within the social impact movement.”

Rizwan, one of the judges for this year's awards, is also relationship director at Big Society Capital, which last year launched a new ‘EDI Plan’ to “put Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the forefront of our organisation and our sector”.

Shelby Bradley - photoShelby Bradley, director of people and values at the Social Investment Business (pictured, left) – and also a judge for the new award – said: “Equality must be at the very heart of social investment – our sector exists to support organisations that are levelling inequalities and contributing to a more equal society. But we also need to look at ourselves as funders and ensure that we hold ourselves to these same principles. At SIB, we are committed to improving our equality, diversity and inclusion practice and embedding this into our values – but there is always more that can be done. Our sector is on a journey of learning and improvement, and there are great examples of best practice out there. This new award is a wonderful opportunity to showcase and share examples from inspiring organisations that are leading the way.”

Our sector is on a journey of learning and improvement... This new award is a wonderful opportunity to showcase and share examples from organisations leading the way

Danyal Sattar photoDanyal Sattar (pictured right), CEO of Big Issue Invest, commented: “Social enterprise is a movement where everyone can belong. It falls to us to make sure that is the case. Without paying gentle, consistent attention to equality, diversity and inclusion, in all its dimensions, we risk being less inclusive than we should. I welcome this new Award as it shows that as a sector, we are committed to doing the right thing and well.”


Social enterprise is a movement where everyone can belong. It falls to us to make sure that is the case 

In further changes to this year’s SE100 Awards, instead of including separate awards for Growth and Resilience, these aspects have now been combined in a new Social Business Champion award, which is open to organisations that have been trading for at least five years.

The eligibility for start-up organisations in the Trailblazing Newcomer award has also changed – from up to three years old to up to five years old. This is in recognition that businesses can still be in start-up phase for as many as five years.

Megan Virrels, CEO of NatWest Social & Community Capital – our partners for the SE100 for more than a decade – commented: “Following our fantastic WISE100 Awards last month, we’re really excited to be launching our search for the UK’s top 100 social enterprises once again. Social enterprises have brought hope, dedication and vital support to communities across the UK, especially over recent times. We look forward to learning from their experiences, challenges and achievements in this year's NatWest SE100.”


“Winning the Impact Award was a powerful signal to our partners and supporters that we take our impact measurement seriously, helping to secure on-going support as well as our wider credibility.” – Tom Ravenscroft, Founder & CEO Skills Builder Partnership, Impact Management Champion 2020



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How to enter for the NatWest SE100 'top 100' list and awards

To enter, complete the application form by 1 May 2022. If you want to view the entry form in full, you can also download the PDF here, but your entry must be submitted via the online form.

We recommend you also read the NatWest SE100 Criteria and FAQ article. 

There is one application form for all entries, through which organisations can enter for a place in the top 100, as well as submissions for the seven categories below:


Equality Award

For social enterprises leading by example and inspiring others to embed equity, equality, diversity and inclusion into their organisations and their work in local communities. Supported by the Social Investment Business.


Trailblazing Newcomer​

Are you a social business start-up (up to five years trading) with a clear mission and entrepreneurial flair, who can demonstrate positive growth and impact, as well as great promise for the future? Supported by Buzzacott.


Social Business Champion

For established social ventures (trading for at least five years) that have experienced positive financial growth and delivered strong social impact over the past year, thanks to an entrepreneurial and sustainable business model. Supported by Buzzacott and UnLtd.


Impact Management Champion

For enterprises that take considerable measures to manage, demonstrate and communicate the social and environmental impact and value of their business, using this to improve their performance and win new business. Supported by Coalition for Efficiency and Social Value UK.


Leader of the Year

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


Social Investment Award

For groundbreaking or innovative deals, programmes or funds in social / impact investment.


Climate Champion 

For pioneering organisations leading by example and inspiring others to work against climate change and towards a greener, more resilient future. Supported by Hogan Lovells.


You can read more about the NatWest SE100 in our SE100 Collection.

More questions? Read the NatWest SE100 Criteria and FAQ – or get in touch via



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