The Social Enterprise Coalition is calling on social enterprises from across the UK to apply for the brand new Social Enterprise Awards, a nationwide competition that will find and reward Britain's best social enterprises. The application period will run until 28 September 2009.
The Social Enterprise Awards are searching for Britain's most successful and inspiring social enterprises to win the following categories:
Best Social Enterprise (turnover of £1 million plus);
Best Social Enterprise (turnover of less than £1 million) and
Best New Social Enterprise. Winners can receive up to £5,000
as well as business support packages and a national media platform to promote themselves.
The awards are sponsored by The Office of the Third Sector; the Department for Children, Schools and Families; the Department of Communities and Local Government; Partnerships UK; Unity Trust Bank and the Wates Family Enterprise Trust. The media partner is The Daily Telegraph.
Jonathan Bland, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition said: "We are delighted to be launching the inaugural year of the Social Enterprise Awards. We are working with incredible partners and sponsors across the UK to deliver these new national awards that we believe will have a far reach and a big impact in celebrating and promoting social enterprise.
"Social enterprises have been increasingly under the spotlight as the nation looks for a new approach to business and to solutions for social and environmental issues. We are very proud to be involved in rewarding the very best of social enterprise in the UK."
Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector said: "The best social enterprises are innovative and inspiring business models proving what can be achieved when social and environmental values are placed at the heart of business practices.
"There is a strong public appetite for socially responsible business, particular in the current economic climate, and social enterprises have a key role to play in creating a more responsible economy of the future. Across the UK, social enterprises are providing solutions to some of our communities' most pressing concerns. We are very pleased to be supporting the Social Enterprise Awards in rewarding and promoting Britain's best social enterprises."
Schools across England to be rewarded for spirit of social enterprise
Amongst the prizes in the brand new Social Enterprise Awards is the award of ‘Best Social Enterprise in Schools.' The award is committed to recognising some of the UK's most enterprising students using business to make a positive difference.
The award is open to all social enterprises operating in schools in England during the academic year 2008/09. The application period is open now and will run until 26th October 2009. A panel of judges will announce the three finalists on Social Enterprise Day, which this year takes place on 19th November. At this point, the public will be given one week to vote online for their winner. Finalists will be invited to attend a gala event in London on 10th December where the winner will be revealed.
Delyth Morgan, Minister for Children, Schools and Families said: "We are very pleased to be supporting the Best Social Enterprise in Schools category of the new Social Enterprise Awards. We believe this award represents a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the entrepreneurial talent and community spirit displayed by so many young people across the UK."
"Young people are increasingly engaged with social and environmental issues and are using the vehicle of social enterprise within their schools to tackle some of the challenges faced by their communities. This award will recognise and reward their success."