UK Social Enterprise Awards 2018

UK Social Enterprise Awards 2018

Deadline: July 6, 2018

Applications are now open for the 2018 UK Social Enterprise Awards. The Awards recognise organisations for their business excellence and contribution to society, as well as the achievements of people working at the heart of the sector. All UK social enterprises can apply, and there are specific categories that investors, corporates, public sector bodies and charities may also apply for.

Winners will be announced at an Awards ceremony and gala dinner in a central London venue on Wednesday 28 November. There are fourteen categories in total and this year we’ve added a new one, the ‘Employee Engagement’ Award.

Award Categories

  • Category 1 – UK Social Enterprise of the Year: The overall award, for a social enterprise that has a clear vision, excellence in impact, and that has also demonstrated and promoted social enterprise beyond the sector.
  • Category 2 – One to Watch: For a social enterprise that can clearly articulate their future vision and how they are going to achieve it.
  • Category 3 – Prove It: Social Impact: For a social enterprise that can truly demonstrate and communicate their impact with their stakeholders.
  • Category 4 – ‘Buy Social’ – Market Builder: For a social enterprise, public sector body or private sector organisation that has demonstrably made efforts within its own organisation and remit to create more opportunities to buy from social enterprises.
  • Category 5 – Social Investment Deal of the Year: For an organisation that has been part of a great investment deal in the last 12 months that has helped the social enterprise to grow or the movement as a whole to develop and flourish.
  • Category 6 – Health & Social Care Social Enterprise: For a social enterprise in the health and social care sector with excellent vision and strategic direction, clear leadership and clear evidenced social, environmental and community impact.
  • Category 7 – Consumer Facing Social Enterprise: For a social enterprise that produced or delivers a retail product or service to the general public. The winner of this category will be selected via a readers’ choice vote in our media partner publication The Big Issue.
  • Category 8 – Education, Training & Jobs Social Enterprise: For a social enterprise in the education, training or employment sectors that can demonstrate excellence in vision and strategic direction, and clearly evidence their social, environmental and community impact.
  • Category 9 – Environmental Social Enterprise: For a social enterprise in the green and environmental sector with a clear evidenced environmental impact.
  • Category 10 – Tech for Good: Technology Social Enterprise: For a social enterprise that uses technology to achieve social impact.
  • Category 11 – Women in Social Enterprise: For a woman working in the senior leadership team of a social enterprise who represents excellence in her field of work.
  • Category 12 – International Impact: For a social enterprise working internationally, and are having a big impact in their field.
  • Category 13 – Transformative Community Business: For a locally rooted social enterprise that trades for the benefit of their community.
  • Category 14 – Employee Engagement: For a social enterprise that is genuinely engaging employees in all aspects of the business.

All categories, not including category 11, are open to organisations; social enterprises and include specific awards that investors, corporates, public sector bodies and charities may also apply for. All the categories are open to organisations from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Category 11 is open to women working in the social enterprise sector.


If you are entering categories 1 – 10, 12, 13 and 14 (not including categories 4, 5 or 11), your organisation must be a UK based business that defines itself as a social enterprise using the following criteria:

  • The business has a clear social or environmental mission that is set out in its governing documents.
  • An independent business and earns more than half of its income through trading
  • Controlled or owned in the interests of the social mission
  • Reinvest or give away at least half your profits or surpluses towards your social purpose.
  • Are transparent about how you operate and the impact that you have

Please do not enter a social enterprise specific award if you do not meet theseabovecriteria.

The awards that social enterprises can enter are:

  • All categories 1 -14

The awards that non-social enterprises can enter are:

  • Category 4 (’Buy Social’ -Market Builder), Category 5 (Social Investment Deal)

Judging Criteria

Your application will be judged against a set of generic criteria:

  • Business/Sustainability of the organisation
  • Impact/Evidence
  • Mission/values
  • Strength of reason to win


Complete the online application form, along with any supporting documentation (maximum 2 pieces)

If you have any questions or queries about the Awards, please email the team at [email protected]

Click here to apply. Read the guidelines before you apply.

For more information, visit UK Social Enterprise Awards.