The Business Enterprise Fund celebrated by NatWest SE100, UK’s leading market intelligence resource for social enterprise

Stephen Waud, Chief Executive of the Business Enterprise Fund, a social enterprise that lends to small businesses in the North, has been shortlisted for the Leadership award in the NatWest SE100 Social Business Awards 2016/17.

Revealed at the annual Good Deals social investment conference, a total of 26 organisations have been shortlisted, celebrating the most inspiring and effective social enterprise leaders, and the strength, impact and resilience of the sector in the UK.

The Leadership Award recognises an individual who has led an organisation effectively, inspired their staff, and has demonstrated that their attitude and ability towards running a business has delivered success both on social and financial grounds.
Since 2004, Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) has lent money to SME businesses that have been unable to obtain the finance they need from mainstream lenders. Beginning in Bradford, BEF now cover Yorkshire and the North East and have lent over £30 million, including finance delivered through the Government’s Start Up Loans Programme.

BEF Chief Executive, Stephen Waud said: ‘Being shortlisted for the awards is a great honour, that reflects not just on the individual nominated, but the whole team at BEF and their exceptional dedication to the delivery of finance to financial excluded entrepreneurs. The SE100 is a nationally recognised resource for the assessment of social enterprises in the UK, therefore it can be trusted and it provides confidence to investors when seeking to gauge the quality and investability of the companies on the index.’

All shortlisted organisations will be invited to bring members of their team to attend a special residential Insight Event at the RBS/NatWest Business School in Edinburgh, in early 2017, focusing on “Leadership and Building a Brilliant Social Enterprise Team.”

Mark Parsons, Head of Community Finance and Social Enterprise, NatWest, said: “The SE100 Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the very best in UK social enterprise. This year’s strong shortlist showcases the vibrancy and diversity of these businesses, which are making our economy more successful and our communities stronger. NatWest has been a proud supporter of the sector for many years and we look forward to welcoming all of those shortlisted to the Awards ceremony in January.”

Tim West, CEO of Matter&Co and founder of the SE100, said: “Running any business is challenging – running a business that changes people’s lives and stays profitable at the same time is nothing short of miraculous. This year’s SE100 shortlist is making miracles happen for people and communities all around the country. We look forward to learning how they do it and sharing their stories, as we select our winners over the coming months.”


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About Business Enterprise Fund

The Business Enterprise Fund is a social enterprise that lends money to businesses in West & North Yorkshire & the North East, who are unable to get lending from the banks. As a social enterprise there are no share holders – all profits generated are reinvested into the business.