Selnet in UK’s Top 100 Social Enterprises

For the second consecutive year, Selnet has been ranked in the top 100 leading UK social enterprises at the NatWest SE100 Awards. This recognition comes after securing £5.5M extensions to 3 Building Better Opportunities projects we lead on behalf of 45 social enterprise partners in Lancashire, securing the Two/Zero social enterprise scale up project, delivering the Building for Sustainability Leadership programme, the success of our annual Enterprise in Society Awards and ensuring the continuation of Lancashire’s crisis support (furniture) service.

The UK’s most impressive start-up social enterprises have been growing at a staggering rate of 355% over the past year – but this was before the onset of the coronavirus crisis. The figure is revealed as part of a series of announcements around this year’s NatWest SE100 Index, the annual list of the UK’s leading 100 social enterprises, compiled by Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital.

The top 100 list was released after a rigorous process to assess the best performers of the year from almost 300 applicants. Applicants to the NatWest SE100 were asked to complete a comprehensive survey exploring key aspects of their business performance: from turnover, growth, profit and how effectively they manage their impact, to leadership, resilience and storytelling.

Selnet CEO Liz Tapner said:

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While we’re working hard to support our membership through these challenging times, it’s wonderful to have this good news and recognition! Plus it’s a great boost for a brilliant team who are separated and missing our daily interactions.

Selnet are proud to be the recognised lead for social enterprise in Lancashire and we do not take this responsibility lightly. As an infrastructure organisation we’re a step removed from the front-line social enterprises; but we’re here to help our sector achieve and further their individual missions. We’re continuing to lobby on behalf of our sector (#SaveOurSocEnts), to bring in partnership and capacity building opportunities, and raise the profile of members and your impact supporting communities across Lancashire.

Social Enterprise services have never been more needed than now and will be at the heart of the UK’s economic, social and environmental recovery from Covid-19; and we’re here to help you be resilient, robust and responsive through the pandemic and beyond.


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The Sewing Rooms were also included in the Top 100 Index and joined Selnet in proudly representing Lancashire. Co-Founder of The Sewing Rooms, Paula Gamester, is Selnet’s reigning Social Enterprise Champion (Enterprise in Society Awards 2019).

Ben Carpenter, CEO of Social Value UK, which advises on the impact aspects of the SE100, commented:

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“It’s heartening to see that impact management is becoming a growing focus for the UK’s leading social enterprises, as revealed in the SE100 Index. I am also particularly encouraged that the UK’s best start-up social businesses – with so many things to focus on to get up and running – are recognising that impact systems and processes must be a key priority early on, and not just a ’nice to have’ that they should think about only once the business has matured.”

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More detailed figures will be revealed later this month, in the NatWest SE100 Health & Fitness report – which uses data and insight from two of last year’s SE100 surveys to assess how social enterprises were performing and feeling about the future before the pandemic took hold.

Eddie Finch, partner in the charity and not-for-profit team at Buzzacott accountants, whose team did much of the due diligence for the SE100 judging, said:

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“While the incredible events of 2020 to date continue to take shape I have been warmed by the response of social businesses – including many of our past SE100 Award winners – stepping in to meet new needs. While no doubt some businesses will be broken by the crisis, there are clear signs that the speed of adaptation and resilience of the sector are making massive contributions to lessening its worst effects on individuals and communities – I look forward to recognising those astonishing achievements next year.” 

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You can find the top 100 and top 25 newcomer lists here, to view and also to download (enterprises are listed in alphabetical order).

 

 

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