UK social enterprise ‘top 100’ 2024 edition opens for nominations

The search is on for this year's pioneers in diversity, climate action, social investment and leadership as Pioneers Post opens this year's NatWest SE100 Social Business Awards. Don't miss your chance to be named among the UK's top 100 impact enterprises – enter by 5 May.


Save the date: NatWest SE100 Awards,
Tuesday 16 July,  London. Registration will open soon.


The search is on for this year's top performing and most inspirational social business pioneers across a range of categories, in this year's NatWest SE100 Awards.

Applications open today (Friday 22 March) for the awards, which recognise social ventures and mission-driven enterprises that are leading by example in their quest to build brilliant businesses that provide solutions for some of the biggest social and environmental challenges.

There are seven awards categories, covering diversity, climate, social investment, impact management and leadership, as well as an award for the top social business and the 'pioneering newcomer'.

Alongside the awards, we will also announce our annual 'top 100' list, naming the UK's most impressive and inspiring social businesses, based on their impact, growth and achievements over the past year.

The NatWest SE100 was devised in 2010 by Pioneers Post and is delivered in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital – NatWest's independent social investment charity. 

Tim West, founding editor at Pioneers Post, said: “We started the SE100 with our partners at NatWest to unearth and celebrate the countless stories of transformation among communities across the UK, where a whole kaleidoscope of purpose-driven innovators and entrepreneurs are committing their energy and profits to solving the huge issues that threaten society and our planet. As a social enterprise ourselves, Pioneers Post aims to support the work you are doing by sharing your stories, making connections and building our community of pioneers, so you can learn from and build upon each other's knowledge and experiences.

“We don't mind what legal structure you have – whether you're a charity, CIC, co-op or for-profit company – what we are interested in is the solutions you have found, the impact you are making, the sustainability and ambition of your business model, and the transparency, values and governance that you put around this to protect your mission. The questions in the SE100 survey are designed to draw out these aspects, so our judges can get a really clear picture of what you do and how you make a difference.”

  • Applications for the NatWest SE100 2023 opened today (22 March) and the deadline has been extended to midnight on Friday 10 May (read the NatWest SE100 Criteria and FAQ)


Andrew Harrison at SE100 2023Opening last year's SE100 awards ceremony, held at NatWest's London headquarters, Andrew Harrison (pictured), chair of NatWest Social & Community Capital, praised the “creativity and resilience” shown by social enterprises in “tackling society’s biggest challenges”. He said: “Rising inflation and the growing cost of living crisis has placed the sector under more pressure than ever. But they remain committed to their purpose.”

In our survey of SE100 applicants, which asks a range of questions about both their financial position and their business prospects, social entrepreneurs told Pioneers Post that despite the tough economic environment, their overall attitude was far from gloomy. Some 90% said they were making a more positive impact than the year before and three quarters said they were feeling optimistic about the future.


We believe that young people deserve everything they get... that our community has to thank them for doing the amazing work they're doing... This award is for them. It’s a clear message that equality matters.

- Lisa Stepanovic, founder of Social Ark, 2022 & 2023 Equality Award winners

Lisa Stepanovic, founder and CEO of Social Ark, which won the Equality award in both 2022 and 2023, said: “We believe that young people deserve everything they get, they don't have to be thankful for us. We believe that our community has to thank them for doing the amazing work they're doing to make our communities safer, more inclusive and fair for everyone... This award is for them. It’s a clear message that equality matters.”

Receiving last year's Social Investment Award, Azzees Minott from 2-3 Degrees said she had originally believed that social investment “didn’t seem like something for black founders”. But she said the Sumerian Foundation, with whom they won the award, had taken time to understand their needs and develop a financial arrangement that suited both parties. The SE100 judges were impressed with the relationship Sumerian had developed with 2-3 Degrees, which delivers personal development programmes for young people. This had ultimately given the social enterprise the confidence and trust to take on £100,000 to grow their organisation. “Investment is a partnership, it’s relationship-based and it’s about people more than money,” Sumerian's Chris West told the SE100 audience.


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 5 May 2024. 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:


Social Business Pioneer

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.


Pioneering 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.


Impact Management Pioneer

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 Impact Reporting.


Diversity Pioneer

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.


Climate Pioneer 

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.


Social Investment Pioneer

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


Pioneering Leader 

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


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





PS Thanks for reading our stories. As an entrepreneur or investor yourself, you'll know that producing quality work doesn't come free. We rely on our subscribers to sustain our impact journalism – so if you think it's worth having an independent, specialist media platform that covers social enterprise stories, please consider subscribing. You'll also be buying social: Pioneers Post is a social enterprise itself, reinvesting all our profits into helping you do good business, better.


The NatWest SE100 Index and Social Business Awards is an annual programme created and delivered by Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital - and supported by Buzzacott, Social Investment BusinessHogan Lovells and Impact Reporting. The programme aims to list, celebrate and learn from the UK’s 100 most impressive social enterprises every year.