Jane Hatton, of Kingswinford-based Evenbreak, a specialist online recruitment site run by disabled people for disabled people, has won an award of £6,000 having been named runner up in the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2014.
Jane finished in second place following a public vote from a shortlist of five finalists, who came from a broad range of entrepreneurial backgrounds – from an ethical underwear co-operative offering work to female refugees, to an enterprise delivering sport and health programmes within schools and community learning groups. All five are about to graduate from the 2013/14 cohort of the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, which is run in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs with support from the Big Lottery Fund.
A recruitment service for disabled people, run by disabled people
Evenbreak was founded by Jane in 2011, her inspiration came from three sources: prior to becoming disabled herself, she worked as a diversity trainer, promoting the benefits of a diverse workforce to employers; running a training business, she also employed a number of disabled people herself and experienced first-hand the business benefits they brought with them; and then, unexpectedly, she became disabled herself with a degenerative spinal condition. Despite numerous spinal surgeries, Jane lives with constant severe pain, barely able to sit and with limited mobility. Jane runs the business lying flat with a laptop suspended above her.
Graham Lindsay, Director, Responsible Business & Community Affairs at Lloyds Banking Group said “Each of the five finalists for the award this year demonstrated a strong commitment to making a positive impact to society by bringing tangible benefits to communities, individuals and the environment.”
“The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme is at the heart of our commitment to help Britain prosper. In this the second year of the programme we’re proud to not only recognise Becky John of ‘Who Made Your Pants?’ as the winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award with a £10,000 prize, but also reward the achievement of Jane Hatton at Evenbreak and Shaun Fox at Legacy Sport, our second and third placed finalists, who receive £6,000 and £4,000 awards respectively, helping these entrepreneurs continue to ‘Scale Up’ their businesses.”
Alastair Wilson, CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “I offer my personal congratulations to Jane for her second place prize at the 2014 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. It has been inspiring to watch her ‘Scale Up’ Evenbreak over the last 12 months. We are thrilled that her passion, commitment and effort has been further recognised by all who voted for her. We look forward to seeing how the £6,000 prize will help support her business and keep it growing.”
A programme built on partnership
The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme delivered in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs, launched in April 2012 and provides both financial support (grants from between £4,000 – £15,000) and comprehensive learning support, including a business mentoring scheme. The programme is designed to support social entrepreneurs in communities and, through them, help stimulate economic growth and regeneration across the country.
The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award is now in its second year, and has seen a 13% increase in votes cast. The title of Social Entrepreneur of the Year and an award of £10,000 went to Becky John of Who Made Your Pants?, an ethical underwear co-operative employing refugee women in Southampton. Third prize of £4,000 was won by Shaun Fox of West Yorkshire-based Legacy Sport, a community-focussed enterprise delivering sport and health programmes to promote healthy lifestyle habits.
To find out more about the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme and Social Entrepreneur of the Year visit www.yourideastartshere.co.uk