Call for pioneering social enterprises to step forward

Posted: 29 June 2023, in Awards

Entries are open for this year’s Social Enterprise Awards Scotland, recognising and celebrating social enterprises from across Scotland as the best in the sector. The all-important application deadline is Monday 10th July at 9am so don’t delay!

The Awards are organised by Social Enterprise Scotland, a membership organisation that promotes and strengthens social enterprise in Scotland as the go-to place for organisations to collaborate, partner and invest with social enterprises.

The Awards are a real opportunity to showcase the very best of the sector, highlighting the agility, ability, and active role that social enterprises play in building places, supporting communities, and making a positive impact on our environment and wellbeing. Is this your year to shine?

Kim Wallace, Director of Membership and Policy at Social Enterprise Scotland, said: “We are looking forward to celebrating the innovation and impact of Scotland’s social enterprises this autumn at our in-person Social Enterprise Awards ceremony. From the Highlands and Islands to the central belt and south of Scotland, Scotland’s social enterprises are building a stronger, fairer, and more just society from the ground up. These awards are a fantastic opportunity for social enterprises around Scotland to showcase and gain much deserved recognition for the incredible work that they do. Get your applications in now!”

There are 9 Award Categories for 2023:

There are nine categories available and it is free, quick and easy to apply as the 2023 application form has been slimmed down from previous years. Why not take a look at the categories below and submit your application today. 

1.Social Enterprise of the Year Scotland Award. Gold sponsor: Keegan & Pennykid

This award is for a social enterprise that has demonstrated a clear vision, excellence in impact, customer service and management, plus that little something extra in terms of creativity and innovation.

2.One to Watch Award. Sponsor: Bold Studio

A social enterprise that shows early potential and can clearly articulate their future vision, how they are going to achieve it, and how they will drive growth in their business.

3. Environmental Social Enterprise Award. Sponsor: Circular Communities Scotland

For a social enterprise in the green and environmental sectors that can show a clear, evidenced environmental impact.

4.Social Enterprise Building Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice  Award (new for 2023). Silver sponsor: Social Investment Scotland

Social justice is fundamental to the social enterprise movement. This category is open to all social enterprises who are addressing issues around diversity, inclusion and equity.

5.Health & Social Care Social Enterprise Award. Gold Sponsor: The ALLIANCE: The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

For a social enterprise in the health and social care sector with excellent vision and strategic direction, clear leadership and clear evidenced social, environmental and community impact.

6.Tech for Good Award (new for 2023). Sponsor – Breeze Digital (a Communities Enterprise Group social enterprise)

This award recognises a social enterprise that is using technology to achieve its social impact. This could be through developing a new product or service or to enhance their service delivery.

7.’Buy Social’ – Market Builder Award. Sponsor – Social Enterprise Academy

For a social enterprise, public sector body or private sector organisation that has demonstrably made efforts within its own organisation and remit to create more opportunities to buy from social enterprises.

8.Social Enterprise Employee Champion Award

This award recognises an individual working in a social enterprise that goes above and beyond to make a difference.

9.Social Enterprise Volunteer Champion Award (new for 2023). Sponsor – Volunteer Scotland

This award recognises an individual volunteering with a social enterprise that goes above and beyond to make a difference.

Introducing 3 new categories in 2023:

  • Social Enterprise Building Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice Award (new for 2023).
    The current Social Enterprise Action Plan includes a focus on Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion. As we strive towards building a fairer workplace across Scotland we are keen to mirror the Action Plan and champion Scotland’s cultural diversity to reflect this with this new Award Category.
  • Tech for Good Award.
    We understand the importance of using tech to tackle the world’s pressing social and environmental challenges and want to recognise and celebrate purpose-driven organisations that are using technological innovation to tackle intractable problems and create social value. This may be new operating systems, improving digital literacy tools or enhanced customer-facing interfaces and everything inbetween.
  • Social Enterprise Volunteer Champion Award.
    Volunteers are helpful, dedicated and demonstrate a strong commitment. They are a valuable addition to any workforce. We believe it is of vital importance to show our appreciation and celebrate the contribution that volunteers make. Volunteering took a huge step forward during the pandemic, so this Award aims to recognise those who volunteer and inspire others to think about volunteering. Note: There are now two individual awards (categories 8 and 9) – which were previously one Award Category – reward the efforts and contribution of an employee AND/OR a volunteer in a fair and balanced manner.

History of the Awards:

There is always much to celebrate about the impact of social enterprise in Scotland at both a local and national level. Our awards are designed to raise the profile of social enterprise and we duly note that without such fabulous organisations on the ground this would of course not be possible.

The UK Social Enterprise Awards were launched in 2009 to celebrate the best of social enterprise across the UK. Social Enterprise UK developed a UK social enterprise awards framework which also provided the opportunity to develop the annual Social Enterprise Awards Scotland. The winners in most categories of the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland are automatically short-listed in the UK Social Enterprise Awards (depending on which categories are chosen by Social Enterprise Scotland).

We look forward to, once again, receiving high quality applications and impact stories from across Scotland and, in advance, want to take this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all 2023 applicants and the hard work and dedication of all of Scotland’s inspiring social entrepreneurs.

2022 winners include:

Get to know the organisations that have won at the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland in previous years. Including:

Need some help with your application or want to read our Top Tips?

Who can apply?

All Social Enterprises that operate in Scotland or individuals that work/volunteer in Scotland are eligible to enter. Past applicants included!

What next?

The application deadline is Monday 10th July at 9am. The shortlist will be announced on Monday 24th July and the final winners will be announced at an evening ceremony in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 26th October.

How to apply?

Click on ‘enter now’ below and apply before Monday 10th July at 9am. You can join in the conversation online with the hashtag #SocEntScotAwards23. 

Good luck!

We look forward to receiving your application.