It was a shock to Sue Williamson when she found out she had been shortlisted for a prestigious award – because her colleagues had submitted the application without telling her.
Sue, the chief executive of Tang Hall Smart CIC, is in the running for being named Yorkshire’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year.
Carmel Appleton, the chair of the board, and Tony Gavin, head of trustees at Tang Hall Employment, “got together behind my back and applied on my behalf,” she revealed.
“I have had time to process the news now and I can see it is a good thing, because anything that raises the profile of social enterprise is brilliant, and it is humbling to know that the staff and directors at Tang Hall Smart feel I am worthy of this.”
Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social or environmental purpose.
Sue said that Tang Hall Smart is run on entrepreneurial lines, but with goals firmly focused on social impact.
“It is important to look beyond your own immediate existence as a company when you are a social enterprise, as collaborative models and solutions that benefit wider society are as important as immediate gains,” she said.
“Currently I am working on two city-wide initiatives, one is the York Homelessness Partnership, and the other is establishing York as a ‘Social Enterprise Place’, and with both of these, there is a clear pathway through to the possibility of having a national impact.
“But the majority of my focus is still our core delivery, providing education and training programmes in music and the arts for people disadvantaged by birth or circumstances.”
The Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards will be presented at York’s Hospitium on 7 March. York Spark CIC is also nominated in the category of best social enterprise.