(l-r) Paula Rogers - Head of Social Enterprise at Lloyds Banking Group, Cemal Ezel - Founder of Change Please and Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, Nick Hewer - host of SEYA17
Cemal Ezel, founder of East-Dulwich-based social enterprise Change Please, has been crowned the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 following a public vote.
Ezel was announced as the winner of the award at a ceremony at Old Broad Street presented by Nick Hewer, former business adviser to Lord Sugar on BBC’s The Apprentice and presenter of Channel 4’s Countdown.
She was one of five finalists shortlisted for the national Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the 2016/2017 cohort of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund, and has received the grand prize of £10,000 to help develop Change Please even further.
The organisation uses coffee as a way to help tackle homelessness by training homeless people to become baristas and providing a London-living wage job, housing, bank account and therapy support. Selling coffee in mobile vans across London, Change Please coffee is now being stocked in 500 Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.
Nikki Markham of Battling On in Cornwall took home the second prize of £6,000 and Rachel Roger of Reform Radio in Manchester was awarded £4,000 in third place. The event was catered by social entrepreneurs who have been supported by the programme and the Social Enterprise ‘Marketplace’ provided an opportunity for social entrepreneurs to showcase the work of their social businesses; which included canapes from local artisanal food surplus, healthy natural smoothies and juices and socks which will help the homeless in the UK.
On winning the award, Ezel said: “I am delighted to win the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017. The £10,000 prize will help us to continue to increase the social impact of Change Please and enable us to purchase another coffee van, which can support eight homeless people per year. The support of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme over the past year has been fantastic, and I’ve learnt a lot from my Lloyds Bank mentor and fellow social entrepreneurs on the programme”.
Nick Hewer, presenter of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017 added: “Tonight has been such an inspirational evening presenting the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017 and it has been a privilege to meet so many individuals using enterprise to solve social issues within their communities. Cemal is a worthy winner and I look forward to seeing how Change Please continues to help people in the community”.
Paula Rogers, Head of Social Enterprise at Lloyds Banking Group said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Cemal as the winner of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017 and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for him. The calibre of this year’s finalists has been extremely high and they have made significant progress with the support of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, which sits at the heart of our commitment to help Britain prosper. I look forward to seeing how these inspirational individuals continue to create positive social change in their local communities”.
The Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, sits at the heart of Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment to help Britain prosper and will support 2,350 entrepreneurs to start and scale social businesses by 2020.
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