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Responsible Finance

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Since: 12.10.2016
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Responsible Finance: Exceptional businesses and finance providers are finalists in Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2020

06.02.2020 Share

A theatre generating its own income streams to ensure it serves its community; a six-figure meal preparation firm started in a home kitchen; a rum distillery launched by two school friends; a sports coaching company launched after frustration with a zero-hours contract; and a zero-waste, plastic-free packaging shop with a “wow!” factor – five of the exceptional finalists in the 2020 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, funded by the Citi Foundation.

Today we reveal the eleven micro, small and social enterprises shortlisted for Awards reflecting their positive impacts in creating jobs, unlocking opportunities, and addressing social and environmental challenges.

The businesses are finalists for four separate Award categories recognising their environmental sustainability, their growth, the social entrepreneur who has created significant social or environmental impact, and the Young Microentrepreneur of the Year.

A transformative prize of £7,500 will be awarded to the winning business in each of the four microentrepreneur categories.

The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards are the annual celebration of Britain’s microentrepreneurs who have accessed “responsible” business finance. The awards, which launched in 2005, (and in 2013 in the UK) were established by the Citi Foundation to recognise best-in-class microentrepreneurs and the responsible finance sector.

The awards are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, celebrating those whose businesses are contributing to economic growth, social and environmental wellbeing.

Responsible finance providers – the leading financial institutions offering affordable finance to many small and microenterprises – have also been shortlisted for awards, covering their impact and their resilience.

The Finalists in the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2020 are listed in alphabetical order for each category:

Environmental Sustainability Award finalists:
  • Brew + Bake of Preston, a café making Lancashire’s larder accessible to all, nominated by Lancashire Community Finance
  • Eat NAKED NI of Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, a healthy meal provider, nominated by Enterprise Northern Ireland
  • The Refillery of Edinburgh, a plastic-free grocery, nominated by DSL Business Finance Ltd

Growth Award finalists:
  • Eat NAKED NI of Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, nominated by Enterprise Northern Ireland
  • Limitless Travel of Birmingham, a global travel business launched to make the world accessible to all disabled travelers, nominated by Key Fund
  • Skills4Stem of Bedford, which builds skills leading to internationally-recognised technical qualifications, nominated by Enterprise Loans East Midlands

Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists:
  • Raj Holness of Breaking The Silence, an advisory, support and training organisation supporting women who are or have been victims of domestic abuse, human trafficking and/or forced marriage, nominated by NatWest Social & Community Capital
  • Yasin El Ashrafi of HQ Creative Arts Network, a recording studio and music education business in Leicester, nominated by Key Fund
  • Rosie Ginday MBE of Miss Macaroon Group, a social enterprise specialising in the production of macaroons for both private and corporate clients, nominated by BCRS Business Loans

Young Entrepreneur Award finalists:
  • Edward Boott of Nonsuch Studio, a Nottingham theatre, venue and workspace, nominated by Key Fund
  • Louis Speight of Omnis Circumvado CIC, a specialist sports coaching company which gives inclusive opportunities to people with complex needs, nominated by Key Fund
  • Zander Macgregor and Allan Nairn of Wester Spirit Co, Glasgow’s first rum distillery for 300 years, nominated by DSL Business Finance Ltd

The UK’s 5.6 million microenterprises – businesses with 9 or fewer staff – account for 96% of all businesses, and employ over 9 million people. Some would not exist at all without the financial and business support they access from the UK’s ethical “responsible finance” sector, which in 2019 lent £171 million to thousands of credit-worthy businesses and social enterprises rejected by or unable to access finance from mainstream lenders.

“Microenterprises play a vital role in strengthening communities throughout the UK by creating jobs, unlocking opportunities, and addressing social and environmental challenges,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Inclusive Finance and Community Development.

“The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards recognise the positive impact they are having on a local and national scale, and these exceptional finalists and the responsible finance providers which supported them all contribute to the economic, social and environmental vibrancy of their communities. We are proud to support the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards and the eighth cohort of finalists in the UK.”

Theodora Hadjimichael, Chief Executive of Responsible Finance, said: “With impressive entrants from all over the UK, entrepreneurs and their businesses needed to be truly remarkable to make the shortlist. These exceptional finalists show how business can be a force for good and demonstrate the impact of responsible finance providers, embedded within the communities they serve.”

Responsible Finance providers have been shortlisted in two Awards for their institutions and two for their staff. Finalists (in alphabetical order):

Impact Award finalists:
Resilience Award finalists:
(Awards will also be made to the Responsible Finance “Rising Star” and Outstanding Loan Officer)

Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Inclusive Finance and Community Development, added: “I’ve seen first-hand the difference community-based lending can make to people’s lives and local communities. When small and micro businesses that cannot access mainstream lending receive finance it’s transformational – the economic activity generated can tackle inequality and promote inclusive growth in left-behind communities.”

The finalists must now wait until 12 May 2020 when the winners of the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards will be announced at the Awards Ceremony in Bristol.

For photos, interview requests and press enquiries please contact Jamie Veitch.