I love being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry....
Liverpool's Top Social Enterprises Honoured
Liverpool's top social enterprises were honoured on 19 September 2012 by the U.K. regional newspaper, the ECHO, at the first ever 'Merseyside Social Enterprise Awards.' The event was organised by the Social Enterprise Network (SEN), who acknowledged leading not-for-profit organisations that are making a real economic, social or environmental difference in their local communities. The winners included Bulky Bob's, which collects, recycles furniture and white goods on behalf of councils. The Mayor's Award for Social Innovation was won by Liverpool's world-leading female enterprise agency, The Women's Organisation. Enviropool, from Hunts Cross Primary School, won the Schools Enterprise Challenge.
More than 70 entries were received. The very best of Merseyside's social enterprise talent were celebrated across 11 categories, three of which were recognised from those outside the sector for the significant impact they have made in their communities. Rosie Jolly, chief executive officer at SEN, says, "Merseyside is home to some of the country's most ambitious, creative and commercially driven social entrepreneurs, and it is a real honour to have recognised these people with these awards."
SEN is an organisation created by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs; it has been working for over the last 12 years. Based in Merseyside it provides a network for not-for-profit businesses, community and voluntary sector organisations. It knows times are tough and works to strengthen the environment in which social enterprises are operating. SEN is committed and presents 'one voice' to promote the sector and to support the development of new, and existing social enterprises in the region. It wants to ensure that the strengths of social enterprises are recognised, so that they continue to thrive and grow.
According to the Small Business Survey 2012, published in April 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 5.7 percent of all small and medium-sized enterprises - or 68,000 organisations - are social enterprises. These organisations play a key role in the U.K., providing important local community services. In fact the Department of Health announced this summer an investment of £19m over the next year for social enterprises, on top of the £100m already invested over the last five years. The money will be used to support frontline staff to run medical services that provide what their local populations really need.
The Cabinet Office and Department of Health are committed to help fund and assist more doctors, nurses and other public sector workers to run services that are tailored to their local community. In fact the Department of Health was the first department to give staff new rights to form social enterprises. The team from Department of Health will bring their expertise to support the development of these organisations when they join the Cabinet Office team to help roll out similar activities across all other U.K. government departments.
Photo Credit: abcteach