Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

The winner of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 (SEYA), taking home a grand prize of £10,000, is…

Cemal Ezel, founder of Change Please!

Second place runner-up, taking home £6,000: Nikki Markham, Battling On

Third place runner-up, taking home £4,000: Rachel Roger, Reform Radio

Our other two finalists, taking home £1,000 each: Katie Buckingham, Altruist Enterprises, and Maggie Sikora, Mapis

But there’s more!…

The above amounts were the official prizes for each finalist. But in an amazing demonstration of pure social vibes on the evening of the awards ceremony (Thursday 16th November), Cemal said on stage that he wanted to split his £10,000 prize money with the other finalists so that everyone would receive the same amount.

Nikki and Rachel immediately agreed, and all five finalist then joined in a group hug and decided to share their winnings!

Could you get more social enterprise, guys? It was a beautiful moment – and we couldn’t be prouder of supporting these inspiring, big-hearted social entrepreneurs. More on this to follow on the SSE blog, once the photos are in. Huge congrats to you all!

More about Cemal and Change Please

​Change Please is a social enterprise that uses coffee as a way out of homelessness. It trains homeless people to become baristas and provides a London-living wage job, housing and bank account and therapy support to its beneficiaries.

Check out Cemal’s finalist video:

More about SEYA

Our five finalists were shortlisted from the 2016/17 cohort of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Scale Up Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund.

More than 200 people applied for just 40 places on the programme. Our five finalists were selected by a panel of judges because of the impact they’ve created, the growth they’ve achieved and the potential of their plans.

Cemal was announced as the winner on Thursday 16th November at an evening ceremony in London presented by Nick Hewer, former business adviser to Lord Sugar on BBC’s The Apprentice and presenter of Channel 4’s Countdown.

The awards event was catered by social entrepreneurs who have been supported by the programme.

Nick Hewer, presenter of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017, said on Thursday night: “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.”

Congratulations to all five of our fantastic finalists. Discover their stories on our YouTube page.