Five entrepreneurs - including a tenant in WMAHSN's Serendip® Digital Health Quarter - have been shortlisted for the 2017 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and are in with a chance to win a grand prize of £10,000. Among the shortlisted is Katie Buckingham, who is based at the Digital Health Quarter with her social enterprise Altruist Enterprises.
Katie is one of five finalists who have been selected from the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Scale Up Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund, who are in with a chance of winning £10,000. Katie, aged 23, is the founder of Altruist Enterprises, which provides resilience, stress management and mental health first aid training to schools and organisations across the UK, raising awareness of mental health in the workplace and supporting skills development to prevent, identify and resolve problems.
Altruist Enterprises was the first social enterprise to join the Digital Health Quarter, part of Innovation Birmingham’s Serendip® Smart Cities Incubator programme. There are four sector-specific Serendip® ‘quarters’: Digital Health, Intelligent Mobility, Internet of Things and Eagle Labs. These are delivered by Innovation Birmingham in collaboration with key partners, with the WMAHSN collaborating in the Digital Health Quarter.
On her award nomination, Katie said, “Winning the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017 would be amazing. It would make such a great difference to Altruist Enterprises as it would enable us to employ a sales person. This would help us gain more customers within private sector businesses, allowing us to reinvest more into our work with schools, helping young people to identify the early signs of an issue and seek appropriate support”.
Being on the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, has helped me to increase the social impact of Altruist Enterprises with the support of a comprehensive learning programme, business mentor and grant”.
More than 200 social entrepreneurs applied for the programme, with only 40 gaining a place. Following a competitive application process and a Dragons’ Den-style panel, the judges then picked five finalists to run for Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 – based on the impact they create, the growth they have achieved and the potential of their plans. The finalists have each received a comprehensive learning programme with SSE, a grant of £15,000, and a Lloyds Banking Group business mentor to help develop their enterprise and increase its social impact.
In addition to the grand prize of £10,000, there is also a second prize of £6,000 and third prize of £4,000.
Paula Rogers, head of Social Enterprise at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “The calibre of this year’s finalists for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017 is incredibly high and each entrepreneur is addressing very different needs in their local community. The shortlist demonstrates the quality and diversity of entrepreneurs on the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme. By supporting social entrepreneurs to solve issues within their local community, we are impacting the wider economy and stimulating regeneration across the UK, delivering on our commitment to help Britain prosper”.
Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “Each of this year’s finalists really does deserve to win the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017. It has been fantastic to see their development over the past year through the support of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with SSE and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund. They are creating tangible social change within their communities through their continued hard work and I wish them the very best of luck.”
The Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, sits at the heart of Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment to help Britain prosper and will support 2,350 entrepreneurs to start and scale social businesses by 2020.
Last year’s winner was Sophie Unwin, founder of Remade in Edinburgh. At the time of winning, she said, “I am delighted to win the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The £10,000 prize will help us to share our business model with other communities across the UK and could create thousands of jobs”.
Voting is open to the public at www.the-sse.org/SEYA and closes on 31 October 2017 at 5pm. To vote for Katie via text message, text SEYA17 Katie to 82228. Texts are free.
The winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award will be announced at a ceremony in London on the evening of 16 November 2017.