The annual UK Social Enterprise Awards returned on Monday 28 November to recognise the achievements of British social enterprises – businesses that exist to tackle social and environmental problems.

The “Prove it” award recognizes the social enterprise that can best demonstrate their social impact, with criteria based on transparency, articulation of theory of change, evidence-based outcomes and balanced evaluation. The win caps a significant year for Street League, with highlights including achieving a 42% growth (1281/901) in the number of young people supported into jobs or training, with only a 15% increase in costs (£5,281,013/£4,593,353).

The award also recognizes the #callforclarity campaign that Street League is currently leading to urge charities to be clearer and more transparent about their social impact reporting. 

Speaking of the award win, Matt Stevenson-Dodd, CEO of Street League said: “Winning the Social Impact Award 2016 is amazing. It is a true testament to the results we have achieved we well as the path we have taken to improve monitoring, evaluation and transparency. W“winning this award is thanks to all of our key partners, funders, employers and staff, without whom we would not be able to have achieved this level of social impact or traction in the industry". 

The #callforclarity campaign includes ‘three golden rules’ for charities to adopt:

  • Organisations should never over-claim what they do.
  • When quoting percentages, absolute numbers should also be provided.
  • All outcomes must be backed by evidence which could be audited.

The campaign encourages organisations to be transparent about challenges and failures, which are inevitable for those working to address complex and deep-rooted societal issues. 

Street League believes in honest, transparent reporting and so as well as talking about all the great things we did during 2015/16, our annual report also outlines what we didn’t get right and the 109 young people we weren’t able to support. Whilst we have had the best year ever at Street League, we also know that in order to keep progressing we must acknowledge where we weren’t able to help so we can learn from it.

The Awards, organised by Social Enterprise UK, were held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London and hosted by two-time Edinburgh Comedy Awards Finalist, Nish Kumar. The ceremony was attended by leading UK social enterprises, the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, and large corporates who are supportive of the social enterprise sector.

Social Impact Award Criteria:

  • Clear articulation of theory of change and impact, proving the organisations mission and objectives
  • Transparency in the process of findings (including stakeholder engagement)
  • Includes good quantitative and qualitative evidence
  • Demonstrates its impact on a specified community, be it geographic or community of interest
  • Has communicated its impact in accessible and creative ways
  • Includes how it will utilise evaluation to improve its work