SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NEWS
It’s time to recognise your social enterprise success
Our Third Force News (TFN) article from Monday 15 June 2015.
Social enterprises profit society and often support some of our most excluded and vulnerable groups. They work in food and drink, health and social care, homelessness, regeneration, sport, technology, media, arts and much more.
The social enterprise community is not rigidly defined, it includes enterprising charities, co-operatives, housing associations, credit unions, SCIOs, Community Interest Companies (CICs) and many others.
Each year Social Enterprise Scotland organises the annual Social Enterprise Awards Scotland as an opportunity for all of these groups to stand up and be counted and to celebrate their social enterprise achievements.
Why are social enterprises worth celebrating? What’s the point of having social enterprise awards? Every industry, sector, specialist profession, club and society has awards, sometimes it feels like everywhere you go there’s an awards ceremony taking place.
But what’s different about these awards is that they are celebrating a fundamentally different approach to how we deliver goods and services to people. The money social enterprises make is recycled, it could simply be seen as more sustainable fundraising.
The social enterprise awards help raise the profile of social enterprise organisations and market individual winners, they recognise successes and business innovation, give a boost to those who may feel undervalued and give a sense of solidarity for our broad community. The awards celebrate social enterprises and give them a break from the challenging day job, allowing them to take a step back and appreciate their achievements. The awards are a reminder that we’re building our community together and, most importantly, we’re making progress.
Audrey Carlin of Wasps Studios, winners of Social Enterprise of the Year 2014, said: “It was fantastic for Wasps to win Social Enterprise of the Year last time. The recognition the award has given Wasps on a national level has been incredible and has opened new doors for us. We’d urge all eligible organisations to put themselves forward for the awards this year.”
We’re encouraging everyone in the broad sector to enter the 2015 awards, particularly those who haven’t entered before, those who don’t perhaps identify themselves as a social enterprise, are taking tentative steps away from a traditional charity model or aren’t even aware that they are a social enterprise.
Craig Sanderson of social housing provider, Link Group, is a previous winner too: “Since Link was formed in 1962 it has, in effect, been a social enterprise, having delivered not only its core activity of providing homes but also supporting people and regenerating and reinvesting in communities. We’ve been honoured many times but are particularly proud of these awards as they recognise our social impact plus our entrepreneurial approach. We very much identify as a social enterprise.”
You don’t have to be a social enterprise to enter some of the awards. There are categories for supporters and market builders too. There are awards for inventive start ups, the best social investment deal, young people, health and social care and consumer-facing social enterprises.
The Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2015 is a prime opportunity for enterprising charities and others to step up and be counted and show us how they’re changing their community. We urge you to recognise your achievements and apply today and encourage your social enterprise friends and contacts to apply too!
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