First Honorary Social Enterprise UK Fellows
2017 will mark the 15th anniversary of Social Enterprise UK. In the last 15 years the UK social enterprise sector has grown, evolved and increased its visibility and impact considerably.
The growth of the sector is due, in large part, to the individuals who work at its very heart, taking their own organisations from strength to strength but also playing a large part in shaping, guiding and championing the social enterprise movement as a whole. We wanted to recognise those who have contributed to creating such a diverse, thriving and truly impactful community from both within the sector and outside, and also those who are making great strides to drive the sector forwards now.
This year’s fellows are chosen to represent the sheer diversity of talent from across the country and include well known figures, as well as those who have yet to be fully recognised for their contributions.
We aim to announce a number of new honorary fellows each year at the Awards, but below are the individuals who will be recognised in the 2017 cohort.
Lord John Bird MBE, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Big Issue was born into poverty and brought up in care. His life’s journey has included spells as prison inmate, artist and printer. Now an established iconoclast, activist and publisher, and a cross-bench peer appointed to the House of Lords in October 2015.
John Bird is the force behind The Big Issue, the world's most successful street magazine. He is an inspirational business leader with an outstanding record of using enterprise as a tool for social change.
Lord Bird offers an authoritative approach, whilst providing an original perspective on the interaction of politics, business and society. His diverse experience, combined with an exuberant personality and erudition make him a compelling and entertaining speaker.
He has spoken at the United Nations in New York, Nairobi and Istanbul, at Downing Street and at Buckingham Palace. He is the recipient of a raft of accolades and awards, including the United Nations Scroll of Honour, an MBE and the 2005/6 Beacon Prize for Creative Giving.
Lord Bird launched a Bill in the House of Lords in 2017, aimed at helping millions of renters get fair access to credit.
Nigel Kershaw OBE is Chair of The Big Issue Group (TBIG). He joined in 1994, subsequently becoming its MD, then Group Chair, before going on to become the first CEO of Big Issue Invest.
The Big Issue is one of the world’s most successful and best-known social enterprises. More than 200m copies of the magazine have been sold in the UK by street vendors, inspiring over 100 similar publications around the world.
Big Issue Invest is creating a ‘social merchant bank’. It currently manages or advises on £170m of social funds – from its innovative lending programmes to regulated investment funds. It also advises on public retail impact funds to potentially improving access to credit and financial services for 3.4m social housing tenants by adding rent data to credit files.
Nigel is a Social Enterprise UK ‘Champion of Champions’ and winner of the Institute of Directors’ Good Enterprise Award. In 2010, he was awarded an OBE for service to Social Enterprise.
Former Arsenal and Liverpool Ladies footballer Kelly Davies won 63 caps for Wales during an accomplished professional career. Kelly is also the youngest woman to obtain an MBA in the Football Industries and came up with the idea of Vi-Ability in 2009 while writing her dissertation titled “The viability of a commercial department for a football association or club”. She decided to form a social business that could simultaneously tackle the issues of commercially unsustainable football clubs and youth disengagement from education.
Eight years on Vi-Ability has: engaged on averaged 500 individuals a year; helped 75% of individuals into sustainable employment, with 9% achieving recognised qualifications; worked with clubs in Wales, London, India and across Europe; reinvested £3.2 m back into local communities; launched a mobile gaming application 'Football CEO'; and been named the Wales & UK Social Enterprise of the Year. For Vi-Ability, 2018 will see further scale up into the Republic of Ireland and a new CEO in role as Kelly transitions to Chair and co-founds a new social venture called. 'The Goodwash Company' aims to change the world #onewashatatime and demonstrate that the Vi-Ability model can be transferred across to a different industry and with a commercial consumer product at its heart. Kelly is also an Ashoka Fellow and trustee of FAW Trust, Street Football Wales and Business Wales.
Lindsey Hall is co-founder and CEO of the Real Ideas Organisation group, leading and managing the organisation to run it’s own social enterprise ventures and enable others, particularly young people to set up and run their own socially entrepreneurial activities, solving problems and building skills.
Lindsey's track record in the public and private sectors as a social entrepreneur, thinker and leader has seen her set up and develop products and services across the creative, learning and education sectors. From building award-winning programmes in the UK to driving groundbreaking initiatives internationally, Lindsey has the experience and skills at management, board and executive level to steer social business ideas towards success; making money and making a difference at the same time.
Lindsey is a NESTA Cultural Leadership fellow, an INSEAD graduate, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Trustee of 15 Cornwall, member of Plymouth Growth Board and has recently been selected as one of the WISE100 social enterprise leaders.
Matt is a founder director and Head of Impact and Research at the Real Ideas Organisation CIC. He is passionate about social enterprise, particularly in relation to more effective and sustainable creation of public and community value. He works with staff across RIO to make sure the work we do has real impact socially and economically, and that this impact is understood, developed and communicated clearly. He has particular expertise in relation to culture, creativity and children and young people, and works with a range of organisations externally to help them develop their social enterprise practice, including helping start up a number of other innovative organisations in this area over the last 15 years.
He previously worked in a variety of roles from policy advisor in Whitehall, through to refugee resettlement, managing community regeneration schemes, and running the Creative Partnerships school creativity programme in Bristol. He has relevant degrees from the Universities of Oxford and British Columbia and has held a Commonwealth Scholarship and Churchill Fellowship.
Clive believes our society and environment can best be preserved when social enterprise becomes the preferred model for business. He is a passionate advocate for the values of social enterprise.
Clive is a founding Director of Social Enterprise Solutions (UK) CIC, Blackpool’s first Community Interest Company. Its mission is to support and grow social enterprises. He became Social Enterprise Champion for Lancashire in 2011 and in 2015 gained the award for Outstanding Contribution to Lancashire Social Enterprises.
After election to the Council of Social Enterprise UK in 2009, Clive campaigned for the creation of Social Enterprise Places which would demonstrate the practical benefits of social enterprise in action. Having endorsed the concept, SEUK announced Alston Moor as the world’s first Social Enterprise Place in 2012. Since then, many more Social Enterprise Places have been identified in the UK and elsewhere in the world. The initiative continues to gather momentum.
Gerry is CEO at CEIS Group and a Director at the Social Value Lab, Ready for Business LLP, CEIS Ayrshire, DSL Business Finance, Indigo Childcare, Social Enterprise UK and Social Enterprise World Forum CIC. Gerry has a BA in Education and a Masters in Social Enterprise and Co-operatives.
He brings many years’ experience in developing and running social enterprises and works with government agencies and third sector partners in the UK and internationally to develop supportive social enterprise ecosystems. His current work includes oversight of major programmes to support social enterprise development and to contribute to social enterprise policy at home and abroad.
Gerry leads a team of over 50 people to deliver business support, employability services, project consultancy, social research, social investment, business finance and event management. Gerry joined CEIS in 2006 having previously established Social Firms UK and he was one of the founding directors of Social Enterprise UK. Gerry is committed to social justice and has spent over 30 years working in the social enterprise sector to assist individuals, communities and enterprises to fulfil their potential.
Mariana Mazzucato is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, University College London (UCL) and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She is author of the highly-acclaimed book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (Anthem 2013; Public Affairs, 2015) and winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis and the 2018 Leontief Prize. Mazzucato has advised policymakers around the world on how to deliver ‘smart’, inclusive and sustainable growth. In 2013 she was named as one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation' in the New Republic.
John has been employed by Bryson since 1985 and now holds the position of Chief Executive of the Bryson Group, which is one of the UK’s leading Social Enterprises and one of Northern Ireland’s oldest charities.
John is committed to the development and growth of social enterprise and through his leadership the Group has achieved: Ireland Excellence Award (EFQM); Investor in People Gold Award; ‘UK Social Enterprise of the Year 2012’ at the UK Private Business Awards; and ‘All Ireland Social Enterprise of the Year 2015’ at the Ulster Bank Awards
John is a Life Fellow of the RSA, was acknowledged as the Northern Ireland and subsequently the UK Social Enterprise Leader of the Year in 2011; is a distinguished graduate of Ulster University; was awarded IoD (NI) Public and 3rd Sector Director of the Year 2012 and IoD UK Public and 3rd Sector Director of the Year in 2013 and was made a Companion of the Chartered Institute of Management in 2016.
Jo, a registered nurse and health visitor, was instrumental in 2006 in establishing the first social enterprise to come out of the NHS in England having inspired more than 650 NHS nurses and therapists with a vision of providing better quality community healthcare by owning and running a social business. Jo led CSH Surrey (CSH) for eleven years growing and developing the business. The now 1700+ employees have significantly improved the quality and efficiency of services by putting patient care at the heart of the business, listening and responding to patients, commissioners and its employees, and through a commitment to continuous improvement.
CSH paved the way for a national strategy of encouraging the development of social businesses and of greater employee ownership. In 2011 Jo was invited by the then Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office to sit on the Mutuals Taskforce, with a responsibility for creating opportunities for employee ownership within the wider public sector. There are now over 40 similar organisations around the country.
Since its inception CSH has been leading the way nationally and locally, which has been recognised through a host of awards. Jo was appointed as a Commissioner on the Prime Minister’s Nursing and Midwifery Commission in 2010, and the following year was awarded an MBE for services to social enterprise. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of Surrey.
Gina is the Managing Director of Bevan Healthcare CIC. Bevan Healthcare CIC is a social enterprise delivering primary care to the homeless, asylum seekers and refugees in Bradford and Leeds. Gina has a passion and drive for reducing health inequalities for the most vulnerable in society. As well as being the Managing Director of Bevan Healthcare, Gina still has a clinical role, as a nurse with the Bevan Healthcare street medicine team. Since spinning out in September 2011, the service has grown from 12 staff and 1400 patients, to 56 staff and 6500 patients across Bradford and Leeds. In March 2016, Bevan Healthcare was rated as outstanding in every domain from the CQC. It remains the highest rated practice in the UK. A remarkable achievement for primary care inclusion health.
Fay Selvan started working as a social entrepreneur in 1991, and established The Big Life group in 2002. It is the first group of social businesses and charities in the country and has a turnover of circa £19m. The group operates across the north of England and includes well known brands such as Big Issue North. It offers opportunities to people who have the least, helping them get to where they want to be. It works in the fields of health and wellbeing, children and families, employment and training. Fay won the Social Enterprise Leader England Award in 2011. Fay completed an Honours degree at Sussex University before moving to Manchester in 1980. She has an MSc in Strategic Leadership in 2001 at Salford University.
Key appointments include: CEO of the Big Life group (1991 to present); Chair of New Charter Housing Group (2014 to present); Chair of International Network of Street Papers (2014 to present); Non Executive Director of CAFCASS Children and Families Court Advisory Service (2012 to present)
Previous appointments include: Executive Sponsor for the Manchester, Salford and Trafford Health Action Zone (1999 to 2001); Chair of Trafford North Primary Care Trust (2001 to 2006) Chair of Trafford Healthcare Trust (2006 to 2012) Commissioner on the Channel 4 Street Weapons Commission (2010)
Edna Robinson is Chair of The Big Life group and Trafford Housing Trust.
A successful public sector leader, She has held several senior positions within the NHS, including Chief Executive of PCT and Hospital Trusts, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Chair of the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the Advisory Board to Richard Branson’s Virgin Health Group.
Her other roles included board member and advisor to the Home Office in the establishment of the National Police Improvement Agency.
Edna established the Greater Manchester Chairs Group in May 2015, a forum allowing non-executive leaders of housing providers to share knowledge and expertise for strategic leadership in the sector.
Liz is the driving force behind Selnet, the Social Enterprise Network for Lancashire and, as chief executive, she’s been responsible for developing it into a major infrastructure organisation. Selnet’s current major project is a £9.2m BLF/EU-funded project, leading a partnership of 80 third sector organisations to help the most vulnerable in society.
A chartered business adviser and business mentor she has extensive experience across all sectors. Her passion is for social enterprise and has led many business support programmes in Lancashire and across the North West to create and develop businesses operating for social good.
Liz’s main role is to ensure Selnet delivers on its contracts and the business is sustainable for the long term.
Liz is perhaps best known in Lancashire as an advocate for the social enterprise sector, undertaking speaking engagements and featured in media articles to promote the work of local social businesses.
Mark Sesnan is the MD of the UK’s leading leisure charitable social enterprise GLL, founded in 1993 as a ‘spin out’ – and which now runs 258 leisure centres & gyms, 113 libraries and 10 children’s centres across the UK.
GLL is a unique organisation that is simultaneously a Workers Cooperative, IPS Bencom, Charity and Social Enterprise.
Mark has extensive experience in leisure management having worked for many years at a senior level in local government and the leisure trust sector. He is Secretary of Sporta, Co-Chair of the London Social Enterprise Leaders Business Club and a Director of UK Active.
Mark has enjoyed 40 years in the leisure industry – without a day off sick – and has worked at every level from Poolside to Managing Director.
As part of his 60th birthday bucket list, Mark ran his first marathon.
Sophi Tranchell is CEO of Divine Chocolate Ltd, the innovative Fairtrade company which is 44% owned by Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers’ co-operative in Ghana. Under her leadership, Divine has become a successful international company, now worth over £12m, which delivers four income streams to Kuapa Kokoo, including distributed profit, and, to date, over £2.5m in Producer Support and Development investment. Over 20 years Sophi has used the power of chocolate to engage with people in all walks of life, a power she has wielded to great effect in campaigning for better trade terms for smallscale producers, and championing social enterprise. She is a passionate advocate for gender equality in food supply chains, and is challenging businesses worldwide to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Sophi’s work has been recognised with a number of prestigious awards including an MBE for services to the food industry, and Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2016.
Dr Guy Turnbull has been involved in the co-operative and social enterprise sector since 1988, and is now the full-time managing director of Care & Share Associates Limited (CASA) – an employee owned social enterprise he helped to found in 2004.
Previously he worked across the UK as a social economy consultant, specialising in business planning, project management, training, research and strategic planning. This has included being involved in government policy development, planning and managing multi-million pound projects, helping establish some of the most successful social enterprises around, written books and much else besides.
Recent achievements include: Driving the growth of Care & Share Associates Limited, from start-up pioneering social franchise to £14m t/o employee owned social enterprise and Creating ‘RED’ (Rapid Enterprise Development Workshops) - an innovative training approach to social enterprise development
In 2016 his work in the care sector was recognised by The Great British Care Awards where he became national winner ‘Outstanding Contribution To Social Care’. Guy is also the winning UK national finalist in EY’s prestigious global competition, ‘Entrepreneur Of The Year’. Here, the judges praised Guy’s strong clarity of direction together with his success, in developing a highly innovative business model that meets not just his customers’ demands but also those of CASA’s employees.
Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. These loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below". The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that "lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty" and that "across cultures and civilizations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development".