Business Innovation in the Spotlight as Social Enterprise Award Winners Announced

Posted: 18 October 2013, in Press Release

Business innovation in the spotlight as social enterprise award winners announced

Social Enterprise Scotland has announced the winners of the annual Social Enterprise Awards Scotland today.

Social Enterprise of the Year has been awarded to Link Group Ltd. The start-up category of One To Watch was awarded to Fun Factory and new category, Social Enterprise Market Builder, was awarded to North Lanarkshire Council for their work in supporting social enterprise. Innovation for Product or Service was awarded to Simply Play, Education & Training Social Enterprise to Calman Trust and Education & Training Social Enterprise (Schools) to Big Kids Enterprises (Armadale Primary School). 

Fraser Kelly, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, said:

“Social enterprises across Scotland are dealing positively with the impacts of welfare reform, preventing social problems, creating jobs, building communities through regeneration and helping the most vulnerable.

“These awards recognise the forward-thinking dynamism that is social enterprise in Scotland – businesses that exist purely to deliver on social and environmental aims. A huge congratulations to all the winners and to all those who entered the awards this year.”

Craig Sanderson from Link Group Ltd, the Social Enterprise of the Year award winner, said:

“We are extremely pleased to have received this recognition, particularly in view of the high calibre of the other finalists. Since Link was formed in 1962 it has, in effect, been a social enterprise – having successfully delivered not only its core activity of providing homes but also supporting individuals and regenerating and reinvesting in communities.

“We have been honoured many times in the past but are particularly proud of this one as it recognises not only our social impact but also our entrepreneurial and innovative approach to meet a whole range of challenges. And this recognition is for not only Link Group itself but also its subsidiary organisations – LinkLiving and Link, Horizon and Larkfield Housing Associations.”

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, The Scottish Government said:

“Social enterprises play a key role in our social and economic well-being. They help create employment and skills opportunities, improve public services and support some of our hardest to reach individuals and communities.

“I am therefore delighted to help celebrate the success of the innovative and inspiring winners of this years’ Social Enterprise Awards Scotland.

“The Scottish Government is committed to doing all that it can to ensure that the social enterprise sector continues to flourish across the country during times of economic challenge. As part of this we are investing almost £50 million in an enterprising third sector between the two year period 2013 -15 to build the sector’s capacity and capability.”

The annual Social Enterprise Awards Scotland are organised by Social Enterprise Scotland, the industry body that unites social enterprises and their supporters into a strong campaigning force. Social Enterprise Scotland is the gateway to Scotland’s social enterprise community and an independent, Scottish, membership-led organisation, built and controlled by social enterprises. The organisation is the first point of contact for the media and public and promotes a positive vision for social enterprise.


Background information

1 See all information about the awards. 

The full list of winners is:

Category 1 – Social Enterprise of the Year – Link Group Ltd

Category 2 – One to Watch – Fun Factory

Category 3 – Innovation – Product or Service – Simply Play

Category 5 – Social Enterprise Market Builder – North Lanarkshire Council

Category 9 – Education & Training Social Enterprise (Main) – Calman Trust

Category 9 – Education & Training Social Enterprise (Schools) – Big Kids Enterprises (Armadale Primary School)

2 What is Social Enterprise? Social enterprise is a dynamic and inspiring way of doing business. Social enterprises are innovative, independent businesses that exist specifically for social and/or environmental purposes. Read more here.

3 What examples are there? Diverse examples include: The Big Issue, The Wise Group, Divine Chocolate, Cornerstone, Kibble Education and Care Centre, media co-op, Glasgow Housing Association, Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Link Group Ltd, the Eden Project in Cornwall, Capital Credit Union, The Grameen Foundation, Mondragon Corporation in the Basque Country and the Homeless World Cup.

4 Where can I see social enterprise in action? There’s probably a social enterprise running a shop, art gallery, sports centre or cafe in your local area – take a look at the Directory of Social Enterprise here or contact us. The media and others can contact us to arrange visits. Watch our short film about social enterprise in Scotland here.

5 What types of social enterprise exist? Social enterprise is a diverse community and the more-than-profit approach is used by a huge range of organisations, of every size, operating in every corner of Scotland and in most sectors of the economy. A social enterprise can simply be a Company Limited by Guarantee with an appropriate “asset lock” and social mission etc, it could also be a registered charity. These are some of the common types and a social enterprise is often one or more of these: Co-operatives and Mutuals, Social Firms, Community Interest Companies (CICs), Development Trusts, Credit Unions and Housing Associations (aka Registered Social Landlords or RSLs).