University of Northampton partner Goodwill Solutions is celebrating after winning a UK Private Business Award.
Success came in the Social Enterprise of the Year category, where the logistics experts beat off strong competition from five other socially-innovative organisations.
Founders of Goodwill Solutions, Mike Britton and Graham Tomkins, said they were delighted with the win.
“To be recognised by such a prestigious award will help us to raise the profile of social business,” said Mr Tomkins .
“Combining social impact with true commercial income will drive social mobility, and reduce disadvantage throughout the UK.”
Goodwill Solutions provides work programmes for disabled people, ex-offenders and the long-term unemployed, and has now been recognised in several national awards.
The announcement was made in London during a ceremony attended by over 450 entrepreneurs and management teams from a diverse range of industries.
The UK Private Business Awards – now in their seventh year – defined social enterprise as ‘a business driven by a social or environmental purpose’.
Acknowledging Goodwill Solution’s success, Voting Panel Chairman Brian Henderson praised the community interest company’s novel approach.
“Goodwill Solutions is a unique social enterprise because it decided to create a business and then use the profits and infrastructure to drive social impact and change, rather than finding a social cause and creating a business out of it.
“The company has gained a huge success from this strategy and is now focused on growing the business to become an internationally recognised, commercially focussed business.”
The company, which supplies warehouse services to businesses both here and abroad, was recently added to the FT1000 list.
During the last four years it has supported more than 400 clients through its programmes, resulting in more than 300 gaining paid employment.
This has created a social impact value in excess of £6 million over the period – leading to a further accolade when it was recently selected as a regional winner in this year’s Barclays High-Growth & Entrepreneur Awards.
“This Group is also unique because it does not rely on funding to support its operational structure. It competes for paying work streams in the private sector and then uses its profits to provide training for disadvantaged people, with seventy per cent of these individuals going on to gain paid employment,” said Mr Henderson.
Nominees in the Social Enterprise category were asked to provide information in support of their submissions, including details of innovation, and their vision and growth strategy.
In 2012, the University joined the business as a stakeholder because of a shared ethos of creating a positive impact on society.
For more information about Goodwill Solutions CIC contact Mike Britton 01604 643185
Photo (left to right: Laura Carrick, Marketing and Communications Officer, Shared Interest; Damian Pickard, Non-executive Director, Goodwill Solutions CIC (winner); Brian Henderson, PwC (judging chairman); Mike Britton, Group Managing Director and Graham Tomkins, Finance Director, Goodwill Solutions CIC; and Nina Hossain, awards presenter).