Entrepreneurs start businesses for a variety of reasons, and more are starting them to enact positive social change, whether that’s through a charity, not-for-profit, or profit-making business with change at the heart of its mission.
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards prides itself on identifying exciting entrepreneurs making waves in the UK. Here are 15 most social entrepreneurs to watch in 2020.
Kristina Salceanu – Advent of Change
Kristina Salceanu is the founder of Advent of Change, a multi-product retailer centered around an advent calendar with a difference. Instead of chocolate or gifts, each window donates a portion of the purchase price to a different charity and raises awareness of their work. It’s loved by a host of celebrity names including Sir Richard Branson, Joanna Lumley OBE, Greg James, Chris Evans and Laura Whitmore.
Ben Sadler – Alive and Kicking
Ben Sadler is the CEO of Alive and Kicking, the world’s only not-for-profit ball manufacturer. It creates jobs for disadvantaged people in sub-Saharan Africa to produce hand-stitched, quality balls and uses its profits to donate balls to local communities.
Karen Williams – Buddy Bag Foundation
Karen Williams is the founder of Buddy Bag Foundation, a charity which donates luggage and supplies to children in emergency care. Each Buddy Bag contains toiletries, pyjamas, underwear and socks, as well as a Buddy teddy bear, book and photo frame.
Cemal Ezel – Change Please
Cemal Ezel is the founder of Change Please, a coffee brand that tackles homelessness. It’s a social enterprise that is staffed by the homeless, to help the homeless. As well as giving them a job, Change Please gives a London living wage, support with housing, bank accounts and mental wellbeing.
Meg Doherty – Fat Macy’s
Meg Doherty is the founder of Fat Macy’s, a social enterprise serving delicious food and dining experiences at supper clubs, events and offices in London. While giving young people training and skills, it uses its profits to fund a housing deposit scheme to get their trainees out of hostels and into their own homes.
Nat Mady – Hackney Herbal
Nat Mady is the founder of Hackney Herbal, a social enterprise on a mission to improve people’s health and wellbeing through herbal tea. Using herbs grown from local public, private and community gardens, Hackney Herbal runs a wide range of training and education, and mental wellbeing events and workshops.
Mona & Shaz Shah – Harry Specters
Mona and Shaz Shah are the co-founders of Harry Specters, an award-winning chocolate company that provides free training and employment opportunities to young people with autism. Inspired to start by their son’s condition, 60% of Harry Specters’ profits go directly to personal development and social opportunities for their staff.
Hoda Judah Armani – InHouse Records
Hoda Judah Armani is the founder of InHouse Records, a fully functional record label operating in prisons. It works with offenders in prison to aid rehabilitation and provide employment opportunities outside of prison with dignity and aspiration.
Zakia Moulaoui – Invisible Cities
Zakia Moulaoui is the founder of Invisible Cities, a social enterprise that trains people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides in their own city. Invisible Cities reinvests its profits to further the personal development and education of its guides, and runs community events in the local area.
Harun Master – Jerry Bottle
Harun Master is the founder of Jerry Bottle, a brand of reusable, steel water bottles which uses its profits to fund clean water projects in India and Tanzania. The bottom of each bottle reads the coordinates of the water project funded by the purchase.
Gavin & Sally Murray – Just-Ice
Gavin and Sally Murray are the founders of Just Ice, a premium ice cream shop which gives employment opportunities to survivors of human trafficking. It only uses fair trade and natural ingredients and is working towards a carbon neutral footprint.
Sally Wilton – Lexi Cinema
Sally Wilton is the founder of Lexi Cinema, the UK’s first social enterprise independent boutique digital cinema. Staffed by passionate, local volunteers, Lexi donates 100% of its profits to The Sustainability Institute, a pioneering sustainable living and learning centre in South Africa.
James McConnell & Hannah Henshaw – Naturespy
James McConnell and Hannah Henshaw are the founders of Naturespy, a social enterprise that seeks to reconnect people to local green spaces and wildlife, aid wildlife research and conservation, and support wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. It works with a number of schools to deliver workshops and engage pupils with often-unseen wildlife on their doorstep.
Pranav Chopra – Nemi Teas
Pranav Chopra is the founder of Nemi Teas, a fair trade loose leaf tea company that uses plastic-free, biodegradable packaging. It also offers employment opportunities to refugees in customer-facing roles to help boost language and confidence skills as well as sales, marketing and distribution.
Dr Mick Jackson – WildHearts Group
Dr Mick Jackson is the founder of WildHearts Group, a portfolio of businesses designed specifically to create global change. From office supplies and document management to an award-winning entrepreneurial programme, all of WildHearts’ profits go to its charity, the WildHearts Foundation where it tackles low social mobility through a variety of projects.
Register your interest for the 2020 Great British Entrepreneur Awards here.