What would you do with £10,000 to help your social enterprise?
The Cambridge Social Innovation Prize is in its second year, giving the UK’s outstanding social enterprises the opportunity to be one of the final four to win £10,000 each.
With a focus on helping others with basic needs like housing, nutrition and health, social entrepreneurs tend to shy away from spending time on their own personal development. That’s understandable, given the huge needs they address, but still unfortunate.
To address that issue, and to encourage the sharing of best practices, the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, teaming up with Trinity Hall College, is working to address this through the Cambridge Social Innovation Prize; the aim is to highlight the powerful and positive social impact made by businesses across the UK.
The Cambridge Social Innovation Prize – winners of 2019
Susan Aktemel, CEO of Homes for Good and one of last year’s winners, will be using the prize money later this year to meet with other housing social enterprises in order to learn and develop best practices, which she hopes will help her venture.
Homes for Good is Scotland’s first social enterprise letting agency. With a property portfolio of 240 homes, the organisation works with people who have limited housing choice. Susan says the driving motivation is to give people dignity in housing.
Gareth Roberts is the social entrepreneurial mind behind the Regather co-operative in Sheffield. A champion of social and economic change through food, Gareth founded this co-operative to allow space for community to flourish and “to help people work together, support each other and make projects happen”. His five-year plan is to deepen the engagement between the community and its food systems by launching a community share offer and membership scheme. Over time, that’s developed into three main areas:
Food – including a vegetable box scheme and market garden.
Drink – a bar and a microbrewery producing craft beer and cider.
Events – a two-day music festival and event management services.
Birdsong provides living-wage work to women from migrant communities using craft skills that they already have. Sarah Neville is the CEO of the social venture based in East London. The company empowers London’s migrant communities by helping the women in its employ to overcome the significant barriers face they to employment, including language, lack of qualifications and childcare commitments.
The AutonoMe app helps people with learning disabilities to gain new skills through step-by-step videos and helps them self-evaluate their needs. The app was created and developed by the social enterprise’s CEO Will Briton, who is based in Weston-Super-Mare (Somerset). The purpose of the app is to helps carers understand where each individual is on their journey of independence, so they can make evidence-based decisions about their ongoing support needs. This innovation gives people with learning disabilities the opportunity to gain their independence, while local authorities are able to commission a better service at lower costs. It is already operating in seven local authorities in Southwest England, and Will is determined to make this a mainstream part of social care nationally.
As well as winning £10,000, the winning enterprises’ CEOs receive two weeks of expert pro bono business advice from our advisors. This might be an intense period of support, or some longer-term mentoring over six to 12 months.
The closing date for entries is 09:00 on Friday 20 March – https://cambridgejudgebusinessschool.formstack.com/forms/social_innovation_prize
The Social Ideas Podcast
In this episode of The Social Ideas Podcast, Tamzin Byrne, the Programme Manager for Cambridge Social Ventures, explains why social entrepreneurs are usually reluctant to invest in their own personal development, and reasons why such selflessness should be re-examined: “In the social sector, people are often unwilling to take that step away from their work and take that step away from the impact that they’re having on their beneficiaries because they feel guilty a lot of the time. They want to make sure they’re giving everything they can to the social change they want to create and to the people they want to help. We think it’s important that they spend some time … to work on themselves, and to develop the skills to that they need to really scale the impact of their work.”