As event professionals, and a social enterprise, there is one particular event each year which is a huge privilege for the Fuse Team to manage. The UK Social Enterprise Awards is a celebration of the success of the social enterprise sector, and an opportunity to reward and honour some of the highest achievers.
Unsure of what a social enterprise is? Well is pretty simple, Social enterprises trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community. And so when they profit, society profits.
As previous years, the 2016 Awards was an event with strong social enterprise supply chain. As well as Fuse Events managing the whole event (including venue finding, awards application management, ticket sales, production, full onsite event management etc), we worked alongside some great social enterprises to create the event:
Catering, food and drink
Brigade Bar and Bistro is a unique social enterprise led by Chef Founder Simon Boyle. Together with the Beyond Food Foundation, Brigade offers vulnerable people catering apprenticeships, giving them the opportunity for a brighter future.
Belu is an award winning, pioneering social enterprise that produces the UK’s most ethical water. Its crystal clear, natural mineral water is available in restaurants, hotels and bars as varied as Zizzi, Café Rouge, Nobu and Sketch, and has been stocked in Sainsbury’s since April 2012.
Ginerosity – We all love a good gin. But a gin that does good? That would be a first. And here it is: Ginerosity. A social enterprise gin whose profits are poured back into projects to help disadvantaged young adults in the UK and abroad. That’s not just a good gin, that’s a great gin. And no great sacrifice either, because it also tastes divine.
Thinking Flowers? is an ethical floral design consultancy, which highlights unethical elements of the cut-flower industry and offers an alternative – namely floral design with a conscience meaningful, minimal and modern design concept.
Divine Chocolate is a leading Fairtrade business and social enterprise aiming to delight chocolate lovers around the world with a delicious range of products, while delivering profits, knowledge and power to the 80,000 farmers in Ghana who supply the cocoa, and who are the biggest shareholders in the company.
GLL is the UK’s leading leisure charitable Social Enterprise operating affordable and inclusive facilities for all in partnership with local authorities across the UK
The Soap Co. is a new luxury soap brand and social enterprise employing people who are blind or otherwise disabled or disadvantaged. Quality products are produced in the most eco-friendly way possible, and all profits go back into the business to create even more jobs.
Connection Crew is an award-winning crewing company working with venues and event organisers to support the setup and delivery of events. Connection Crew works with people who’ve been homeless in the past, training them up and helping them build a career. In the last 11 years, it has employed 157 ex-homeless people. Every ex-homeless recruit that has left Connection Crew has gone on to other employment or education – none have returned to homelessness.
The Champion Agency are anAward-winning creative agency and social enterprise championing young creative talent. Combining raw talent with proven industry experience, we create advertising, design and identity that effectively impacts brand and bottom line.
DtP Is a print company thay uses its profits to support Africa Enterprise Trust. The Trust is helping rescue children out of poverty by providing the basic necessities of life and enabling the children to go to school. All the children we help are orphans who have lost either one or both parents.
Designs in mind design and make products for local retail, and working in textiles, wood, wire and glass, transform spaces with bespoke commissions. Through their work they aim to challenge mental health stigma and the predominant culture of low expectation which surrounds their makers. All of their designer makers are adults referred through mental health services and are members of Designs in Mind.
Green Rooms is a pioneering and unique arts hotel that opened in June 2016. An authentic start-up social enterprise and creative hub, it is already an integral part of the arts and local communities, and stands apart in a world of big chain and formulaic hotels. The ground floor restaurant is an incubator project running rent-free rotational residencies for emerging restaurateurs. It is a supportive training ground where they can develop their brands over a 12-month period. In addition, Green Rooms hosts a free monthly programme of cultural events led by both artists residing in the building and the hotel’s institutional partners.
The event was hosted by the excellent Nish Kumar. Nish is a British stand-up comedian, actor, and radio presenter. He hosts Newsjack on BBC Radio 4 Extra and injected some real humour and political satire into the awards presentations.
In 2017 Fuse will once again be working alongside Social Enterprise UK to produce the Social Value Summit held at the Institution of Engineering & Technology, Savoy Place, Embankment, London (http://savoyplace.theiet.org/)