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Social supermarket chain among award winning enterprises

The winners of the annual UK Social Enterprise Awards have been announced by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK).

There are approximately 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £60 billion to the economy each year and employing approximately two million people.

The awards are designed to shine a spotlight on the leading lights of the social enterprise community, recognising the outstanding achievements of businesses which trade for a social purpose.

The award for social impact went to Community Shop, the UK’s first “social supermarket chain.”

Located in areas of disadvantage, the Community Shop offer surplus food to members at heavily discounted prices. When members shop in store, the revenue raised powers the organisation’s Community Hub, where it engages, inspires and connects with every member who comes through the doors.

The hubs offer a range of services designed to help the local community, such as debt advice and employability skills, a cook club and home budgeting.

Among the other social enterprises honoured, the winner of the UK Social Enterprise of the Year was pioneering coffee company, Cafédirect who have helped improve the lives of small-holder farmers in the Global South.

With bereaved families often falling into debt due to unaffordable funerals, the Awards also recognised Caledonia Cremation as “one to watch.”  The social enterprise funeral directors, owned by anti-poverty charity Community Renewal Trust, offers a single cost funeral designed to be affordable and equal for anyone anywhere across Scotland. The firm also invests profits in counselling, an advice helpline and education around bereavement, funerals and death.

Commenting on this years’ ceremony, Peter Holbrook Chief Executive of SEUK said:

In the troubling, uncertain times we’re living in, social enterprises are a beacon of hope. They are showing that another way of doing business is possible, one rooted in the values of community, equality and fairness.

This year’s winners are testament to the real impact of the social enterprise movement. It can no longer be seen as a fringe part of our economy but rather as a sector making a real difference both socially and economically.

Social enterprises are showing us what the future of business can look like.

The Rooftop itself is part of a social enterprise and funded by the profits made by Campaign Collective, which offers professional communications and marketing support to organisations delivering a public good.

Image: Social Enterprise UK

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.