The Women’s Organisation, the UK’s largest developer and deliverer of training for women, has been shortlisted for the UK Social Enterprise Awards, recognising it as one of the UK’s most effective social enterprises.
The organisation based in Liverpool is a finalist in the four categories – UK Social Enterprise of the Year, Prove It: Social Impact, Education, Training and Jobs and Social Enterprise Building Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice.
It is a business that is dedicated to supporting women’s economic development through the provision of enterprise and employment services that are gender focused. From personal development to starting and growing a sustainable business, over the last 25 years The Women’s Organisation has supported more than 70,000 women in the North West to assess their skills, test the viability of an idea, grow in confidence and become economically empowered.
The organisation delivers training for employers internationally, in China, Iceland and The Middle East. Earlier this year, following a strong performance in 2021, it announced expansion of its international offer, with services marketed into the US, South Africa and in Northern Europe – a move that will create 12 local jobs.
Social enterprises are businesses that trade for a social or environmental purpose. There are an estimated 100,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing around £60bn annually to the UK economy and are set up to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society.
The UK Social Enterprise Awards are awarded by Social Enterprise UK, the UK’s leading membership body for social enterprises and recognise excellence and innovation in UK social enterprises. The Women’s Organisation will be joining other shortlisted organisations and guests at a prestigious awards ceremony held at London’s iconic Roundhouse on Thursday 8 December.
Previous winners have included a legal firm representing vulnerable people, a crowdfunding platform helping homeless people into work, and a network of zero waste supermarkets – demonstrating the diversity of the social enterprise in the UK.
Commenting on being shortlisted, lead for marketing, communications and PR at The Women’s Organisation, Nikki Anderson, said:
“To be acknowledged in just one category would have been recognition enough for the tremendous efforts of the team here at The Women’s Organisation, but to be shortlisted in four categories really is truly humbling.
“The hard work and dedication demonstrated by our entire team over the past year or two really cannot be understated, particularly as the whole country faced unprecedented challenges and changing societal dynamics. The pandemic was hugely, adversely and disproportionately impactful for women, and we felt more obligated than ever to make our services accessible for all women, everywhere.
“We’re incredibly proud of the work our international team have been doing too. Our esteemed colleagues, international consultants Lisa McMullan and Alison Price, offer a wealth of experience in innovative practices in enterprise education and it’s fantastic to see their hard work, knowledge and expertise recognised.”
Commenting on the Awards, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook said:
“The UK Social Enterprise Awards are the ultimate showcase of the impact and excellence of social enterprises. These are trailblazers and standard setters for how to do business better, in ways that put people and planet first. They empower and uplift communities. They show us all how we can do business in a way that helps the environment. And they do all this while facing the same challenges as other businesses.
“In these turbulent times, they are a beacon of innovation, optimism and resilience. Those who have made the shortlist of these awards have proven their business’ ability to weather the storm of the pandemic, keeping their business and their mission on track.
“The challenges we face as a society demand new approaches and a shift in the way that businesses big and small act. The entries for this year’s award continue to inspire, innovate and show us all how businesses can help us meet many of these challenges head on.”