THE work of a young entrepreneur who set up a social enterprise which teaches people how to repair household goods, who runs repair and upcycling workshops, sells affordable refurbished goods and campaigns for zero waste has been recognised.
Sophie Unwin, founder of Edinburgh-based Remade, has been shortlisted for the Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Award. She is one of five finalists with the chance of winning the UK-wide £10,000 award.
She is part of the Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs “Scale Up” programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs.
On her award nomination the entrepreneur said: “Winning would be amazing. It would allow us to create a network of Remade projects in communities creating thousands of jobs, helping local authorities prevent huge quantities of waste and providing a model of regeneration that can help give people ideas and information about how to transition to a truly sustainable future where we have the skills to fix things and goods are built to last”
“If I was to win it would have a huge impact on Remade in Edinburgh. It would allow us to meet the demand to pilot Remade in other communities, help us equip people with the skills to repair and reuse, and create a campaign for an alternative to disposable culture”.
James Lynn, branch manager at Bank of Scotland in Shandwick Place which is celebrating social entrepreneurship and backing Sophie, said: “Remade in Edinburgh does inspirational work in our community. We hope to encourage as many people as possible to vote in the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and also hope to inspire others to find out more about the benefits of social enterprise”. Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “Year upon year, I am astounded by the talent and passion of the social entrepreneurs. Each of this year’s finalists has achieved so much already and they are creating real change for the benefit of the community, the environment and individuals.”
The Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme is run in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, with support from the Big Lottery Fund. It provides grants of up to £15,000 and comprehensive learning support including a business mentoring scheme. The winner of the awards will be announced on November 2 in London.
The programme was set up in 2012 to support social entrepreneurs in communities and, through them, help stimulate economic growth and regeneration across the UK.
Recent research revealed the positive impact of the programme on people, businesses and communities and by 2017 the programme will have created over 7000 jobs and supported one million beneficiaries.