The 2016 Awards were the biggest yet and the shortlist was once again an insight into the amazing work being done in the UK social enterprise sector.  Host, comedian and television presenter, Nish Kumar entertained guests and presented the winners with bespoke trophies made by social enterprises Designs in Mind.

The Winners

UK Social Enterprise of the Year Award – Dulas (Sponsor, NatWest)

Dulas, a cooperative based in Machynlleth in Wales was founded in 1982 to deliver renewable energy solutions to businesses, landowners and charities. Dulas’ mission is to provide the consultation and mechanical innovation that its clients need to go green. From hydro dams in Austria to solar powered vaccine fridges in Zambia, Dulas innovates the technology and delivers it.

The One to Watch Award – Change Please CIC (Sponsor, GLL)

Change Please is a social enterprise which trains people who are homeless to be baristas. In partnership with The Big Issue, Change Please provides a London living wage job, bank account, occupational therapy and clinical psychology support to sustainably lift people out of homelessness.     

The Prove It: Social Impact Award – Street League (Sponsor, PwC)

Street League is the UK’s leading sport for employment organisation with a vision to see an end to youth unemployment. Street League runs academies in 36 local communities across the UK to help unemployed 16-24 year olds gain the key life and employability skills needed to move into work.

‘Buy Social’ Market Builder Award – Salford City Council (Sponsor, CAN)

Salford City Council is a Co-operative Council in Greater Manchester. It is committed to acting in a socially responsible way, including not only meeting legislative obligation but pro-actively considering economic, social and environmental value across the organisation. The Council is at the forefront of work to embed social responsibility into local government, and is widely viewed as one of the leading local authorities in its approach to promoting and implementing social value.

Social Investment Deal of the Year - Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (Sponsor, Big Society Capital)

Bristol & Bath Regional Capital CIC (BBRC) is a public benefit investment company that provides civic led, commercially focused and innovative investment solutions that catalyse regional change. Its deal for South Bristol Sports Centre is the first structured charity bond to involve an element of Social Investment Tax Relief, and channels investment into a wide range of community activities in one of the most deprived areas of Bristol.

Health & Social Care Award -  Wellbeing Enterprise (Sponsor, Mutual Ventures)

Delivering community wellbeing services across Cheshire and Merseyside for over 11 years, Wellbeing Enterprises is developing assets in the local community through community navigation, social prescribing, volunteering, participation programmes and social entrepreneurship.

Consumer Facing Award – From Babies with Love (Sponsor, Johnson & Johnson)

From Babies with Love is the award-winning baby brand that donates 100% of its profit to orphaned and abandoned children around the world. The profits from its design-led, ethically sourced range of baby clothes, accessories and toys support the children to grow up in loving family homes.

Education, Training & Jobs Social Enterprise of the Year – Cycle Training Wales (Sponsor, Wates Group)

Cycle Training Wales (CTW) promotes cycling as a means of transport and recreational activity through the provision of educational activities, training services and refurbished bicycles. Since its formation in 2007, CTW has helped refurbish over 1500 bikes, and trained many in cycle maintenance and back into employment. It has also established the first fully-equipped bike maintenance training centre in South Wales.

Environmental Social Enterprise of the Year Award – The Big Lemon CIC (Sponsor, Landmarc)

The Big Lemon is on a mission to give communities across the UK access to friendly, affordable and environmentally-sustainable public transport.  Their work out of Brighton includes local community transport and to music festivals – often using locally-sourced fuel recycled from cooking oil waste.

Inspiring Youth Enterprise Award – Real Ideas Organisation (Sponsor, P3)

Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) is a pioneering social enterprise supporting people to build better futures. RIO believes social enterprise has the power to create a fairer world. By influencing policy, delivering programmes and supporting and developing people and places, the business is committed to growing social enterprises to unlock potential and create opportunities. RIO also developed the SEQ, the world’s first social enterprise qualification.

Women in Social Enterprise Award – Maria Morgan, Kineara (Sponsor, Santander)

In 2007 Maria left statutory social work to join the London Borough of Tower Hamlets’ Family Intervention Project (FIP) as a key worker. She then went on to become a senior FIP practitioner and since 2010 has project managed the FIP team. Maria became a Director of Kineara in 2012 to develop and provide services that will empower families and communities to improve their lives.

International Impact Award – Alive and Kicking (Sponsor, British Council)

As the only formal manufacturer of sports balls in Africa, Alive and Kicking provides sustainable, ethical, fair pay jobs for adults in some of the most deprived areas of Nairobi, Accra and Lusaka, while harnessing the power of sport to improve the health and quality of life of disadvantaged young people through sports-based health education and social inclusion programmes. 

Click here for photos of the event.

Buying Social

As part of ‘Buy Social’ – SEUK’s campaign to get more businesses and consumers to buy from social enterprises – the Awards featured a number of social enterprises in its supply chain, including bottled water brand Belu, caterers Brigade Bar & Bistro, flowers from Thinking Flowers, and photographers Mediorite, among others.

Media partner

The world famous social enterprise magazine, The Big Issue, was media partner to the 2016 Awards.


Thank you to all the sponsors of the Awards: Big Society Capital, British Council, GLL, J&J, Landmarc, NatWest, PwC, Mutual Ventures, Santander, P3, CAN and Wates.