Scots ‘Magnificent 7’ Fly Flag at UK Social Enterprise Awards

Posted: 11 March 2011, in Press Release

Press Release:  11th March 2011

Scots ‘Magnificent 7’  Fly Flag at UK Social Enterprise Awards

Seven Scottish social enterprises – the most nominated from any country in the UK – will battle it out at the Social Enterprise Awards on 30 March in London.

Following their win at the Social Enterprise Scotland Awards last month, Hebridean Chocolates CiC, Rutherglen’s Stonelaw High Fair Traders, Sutherland-based Golspie Recycling & Environmental Action Network, and Susan Aktemel, from Glasgow-based Impact Arts will go head-to-head with the winners of the English, Northern Irish and Welsh awards.

Three more Scottish social enterprises have also been directly shortlisted for these prestigious national awards. Glasgow Caledonian University is up for ‘Partner of the Year’ for their pioneering Masters degree in Social Enterprise.

Donald Anderson, from The Bread Maker in Aberdeen and Alasdair Nicholson from Third Sector Hebrides are both nominated in the Unsung Hero of the Year category, giving Scotland a 50/50 chance of taking the title.

Antonia Swinson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition commented: “The fact that seven Scottish social enterprises have made the judges shortlist for the UK awards clearly demonstrates that our social enterprises are UK leaders in  innovation and entrepreneurship, and are a crucial part of business here in Scotland. We hope that many Scots leave triumphant at the awards on 30 March.”

The UK finals follow Voice11 at London’s O2 in London where Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband MP will address over 1,000 guests and present the Best Social Enterprise Award. 

Commenting on the UK finalists, Peter Holbrook, CEO of the Social Enterprise Coalition, said:  “To get to this shortlist has been difficult work for our judges because the quality of the applications has been outstanding. I feel prouder than ever and am personally moved and motivated by the work that is going on in our movement.  If anyone out there wants to see the Big Society they needn’t look any further.”

Social enterprises make valuable contributions to society, both in Scotland and across the UK. They are key to supporting the economic recovery and play an important role delivering key services to some the country’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Social enterprises are businesses run for social and environmental purposes – there are approximately 62,000 of them in the UK with a combined turnover of at least £27 billion, and they contribute £8.4 billion per year to the UK economy. In Scotland, social enterprises are estimated to contribute over £2 billion to the Scottish economy every year.

The Scottish Awards were sponsored by PwC with additional support provided by Firstport, The Cooperative Bank, the Social Enterprise Academy and Johnston Carmichael.                                                              

More information on the awards can be found at: and


For further information about the awards, please contact Lesley Clark or Paula McNulty at Weber Shandwick on 0131 556 6649 / 07770 886 901 / 07770 886 924 or /

Notes to editors:


Social Enterprise Start Up of the Year

  • Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre (Northern Ireland)
  • Hebridean Chocolates CIC (Scotland)
  • Lodsworth Larder (England)
  • Vi-Ability Educational Programme (Wales)

Young Person’s Social Enterprise of the Year

  • Ecovation (England)
  • Stonelaw High Fair Traders (Scotland)

Social Enterprise of the Year

  • Blue Sky Development & Regeneration (England)
  • Co-options (Wales)
  • Golspie Recycling & Environmental Action Network (Scotland)
  • Newington Credit Union Limited (Northern Ireland)

Social Enterprise Leader of the Year

  • Sharon Jones (Crest Recycle, Wales)
  • John McMullan (Bryson Charitable Group, Northern Ireland)
  • Susan Aktemel (Impact Arts, Scotland)
  • Fay Selvan (The Big Life Group, England)

Social Enterprise Mark Holder of the Year

  • GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd)
  • Roots HR CIC
  • Southville Community Development Association

Social Enterprise Partner of the Year

  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Low Sizergh Farm
  • RBS Community Banking
  • West Lindsey District Council

Social Enterprise Unsung Hero of the Year

  • Donald Anderson (The Bread Maker, Aberdeen)
  • Alasdair Nicholson (Third Sector Hebrides)
  • Graeme Perks (Skillbuilders)
  • Joanne Mawdsley (The Legacy Rainbow House)

Hebridean Chocolates

Set up by Voluntary Action Lewis with the aim of making it a sustainable business, Hebridean Chocolates is a social enterprise designed to provide training, placement and employment opportunities for local people. The chocolate factory provides products of high quality for the local, tourist and worldwide island markets. 

Recycling & Environmental Action Network

Sutherland-based Golspie Recycling & Environmental Action Network (GREAN) is a community based social enterprise which employs 19 full time, three part time one trainee and two volunteer staff, most of which have experienced barriers to employment, long term unemployment or are school leavers. The Network provides a weekly kerbside recycling service to over 4,200 households in east and central Sutherland on behalf of Highland Council, as well as providing bicycle and textile recycling services, a community garden and composting project and offering unique training opportunities within the community. 

Stonelaw High Fair Traders

A group of pupils from Stonelaw High in Rutherglen called the ‘Fair Traders’, is a fair trade business, started in 2003.  Involvement now spans S1 to S6 pupils, who buy and sell products from fair trade suppliers, and channel the resulting profits to the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies in rural KwaZulu Natal, to pay for school fees, uniforms and schoolbooks for children orphaned by HIV Aids. 

Susan Aktemel

Susan Aktemel is director of Glasgow-based Impact Arts. Established in 1994, Impact Arts is a successful social enterprise which uses visual arts, music, drama, dance and technology to work in local communities with people of all ages. With teams operating in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire, the organisation’s approach is to use the arts as a tool for change – improving the environment, helping someone get back into work or simply improving quality of life.

Donald Anderson is the CEO of The Bread Maker which won the Scottish Social Enterprise Start up of the Year award in 2009.

Alasdair Nicholson is Chief Exec of Third Sector Hebrides and its subsidiary is Hebridean Chocolates.

Glasgow Caledonian University runs its MSc in Social Enterprise in partnership with Scottish Social Enterprise Academy.  

The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition is the national collective lobbying and campaigns voice for social enterprise in Scotland. It is a membership-led organisation representing the needs and interests of social enterprise to politicians, policy makers and opinion formers.

Scotland invented the worlds’ first mutuals, building society, cooperative and savings bank.

The Social Enterprise Coalition is the UK’s national body for social enterprise. As the voice for the sector, the Coalition provides a platform for showcasing the benefits of social enterprise while supporting and representing the work of its varied members, influencing national policy and promoting best practice.