Selnet Finalist in the UK Social Enterprise Awards

Selnet named a finalist in The Education, Training & Jobs category of prestigious national Awards, recognising businesses which are transforming society.

The Social Enterprise Lancashire Network, ‘Selnet’ has been shortlisted in the UK Social Enterprise Awards, recognising it as one of the leading social enterprises in the country.

Selnet based in Preston is a UK finalist in the ‘Education, Training & Jobs’ category. It is a business that exists to enable, secure and develop frontline social enterprises across Lancashire.

Since 2007 Selnet have been supporting social enterprises across Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen to start-up, connect, develop and grow. By developing and managing projects like Building Better Opportunities, Selnet lead programmes so social enterprises can secure revenue through their specialism; all to deliver contracts that transform lives. Selnet CEO Liz Tapner MBE said:

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“Before Covid hit, we had just relocated to a social enterprise landlord. 3 months later the team were all working from home, maintaining existing contracts that support highly vulnerable people, securing new opportunities and maintaining communications across the network – all enabling the sector to survive, adapt and feel empowered.”

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As lockdown covered our communities, Selnet worked intensively to maintain delivery, working with 5 specialist social enterprise partnerships and commissioners so that essential services for disadvantaged people could continue.

While maintaining and supporting teams delivering projects across Lancashire, Selnet worked hard to enable sustainability, resilience and impact of social enterprises.

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We worked hard supporting frontline social enterprises whose services have never been more needed. We bid, secured and mobilised a high-level ERDF funded business start-up and growth support programme, ‘DR!VE’ – we and our 4 delivery partners have all invested our own reserves, to make this support possible; all specialising in social enterprises – and blimey its good timing!

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On hearing the news of being shortlisted, Selnet’s senior management team Liz Tapner MBE and Donna Marshall were delighted.

Selnet lead programmes creating opportunities for social enterprises to support our  communities, enabling social entrepreneurs to develop skills and achieve their ambitions, respond to challenges, tackle inequalities, and empower our communities.

Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social or environmental purpose. There are 100,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing £60bn to the UK economy, each one being set up to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face from homelessness to the climate emergency.

The UK Social Enterprise Awards run by Social Enterprise UK, the national membership body for social enterprises, recognise the nation’s most pioneering social enterprises.  Selnet will be joining other shortlisted organisations at the prestigious awards ceremony held at London’s iconic Guildhall on 8 December.

This year the Awards featured two new categories one recognising a Social Enterprise Building Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice and the other for the Social Enterprise Team of the Year – a category specifically acknowledging those teams which have demonstrated the strength, passion and resilience so characteristic of the social enterprise sector over an extremely challenging year.

Previous winners have included a company set up to tackle furniture poverty, an IT consultancy employing people with autism and a community energy co-operative – demonstrating just how diverse the social enterprise sector is.

 

Commenting on the Awards, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook said:

The UK Social Enterprise Awards are back, bigger and better than ever before. We have had a record number of applications this year, all of which have showcased the strength, dynamism and resilience of the social enterprise community through what’s been an incredibly difficult and uncertain period.

Over the course of the pandemic social enterprises have been going above and beyond the call of duty to support their teams, the individuals, and communities they work with, showing the grit, determination and innovation so inherent to this sector. They’ve been operating directly on the frontline of the crisis, launching new products and pivoting their business models to meet the needs of communities and society as a whole.

The Awards are all about celebrating the achievements of the UK’s social enterprise movement, which is showing us that another way of doing business is possible – one which has never been more important as we look to build back better and address the climate emergency.”

 

Are you a Lancashire social enterprise? Join Selnet!

If you are trading for a social or environmental purpose, we can support you to start-up, develop, connect and grow. Being part of Lancashire’s wider social enterprise community enables your access to additional services and resources, up-to-date sector news, funding information, networking events, training opportunities and a platform to promote your business.

For more information speak to our Membership Lead Officer Yvette Holden on yvette@selnet-uk.com or 01772 200 690 or visit www.selnet-uk.com/join-selnet


 

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