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Written by:
Paul Holland
06 Jul 2022

Four social entrepreneurs pioneering new approaches to mental health, wellbeing, employment training, and publishing have been recognised with the 2022 Cambridge Social Innovation Prize, awarded by Trinity Hall and the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cambridge.

The four winning entrepreneurs are changing the way we approach the delivery of vital support and business services for a wide range of beneficiaries.

They include:

  • CEO  Anne Bailey who set up a pioneering careers programme to connect schoolchildren to the businesses of the future, inspired by her experiences with her children
  • Katie Buckingham, a businesswoman whose own experience of mental ill-health inspired her to set up a wellbeing support enterprise for businesses and young people.
  • Tamara Macfarlane, a children’s author and bookseller, whose business aims to raise equality and representation in the publishing industry.
  • Alice Williams, who set up a bakery business to help vulnerable women get training, support and access to work.

What they all have in common is a desire to embed social purpose at the core of their business, helping children and adults in need.

These £10,000 awards are made annually to extraordinary founder-CEOs of scale-up (growth stage) social enterprises to support their development as leaders.

Mentoring from experts at Cambridge Judge Business School and support from an expanding community of social innovators at Trinity Hall will help them to develop the skills, resources and networks they need to create more impact from their work.

Cambridge Social Ventures Programme Director, Nicole Helwig said: “The winners of the Cambridge Social Innovation Prize are visionaries and drivers of social change. They identify entrepreneurial opportunities through insights based on empathy, experience and a deep understanding of the social challenges they address.”

Introducing the 2022 winners

Anne Bailey, Form the Future CIC:

Anne Bailey

 “The need for what we do is vast, and it’s not just here in the East of England where we’re based, it’s everywhere. This award with its focus on my professional development will give me the skills and support that I need to take Form the Future to the next level. I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen as one of this year’s winners.”

Anne Bailey co-founded careers and employment company Form the Future CIC in 2015 after, as a parent, she experienced the disconnect between the dynamic Cambridge economy and the careers support children received in education.

The company’s mission is to connect young people to a world of career possibilities, inspire them to dream big, and empower them to achieve their full potential. They try to dismantle barriers to social mobility by empowering students with skills and aspirations and by working in partnership with employers in growth sectors, helping them to build a “talent pipeline”.

Since forming the company, CEO Anne and her team have partnered with hundreds of companies and worked with over 100 schools, local authorities and other partners. By connecting schools with local employers, students learn about and prepare for their future careers while employers get support to recruit and build their workforce.

Katie Buckingham, Altruist Enterprises:

Katie Buckingham

“I applied for the prize as I’m keen to develop my capability as a social leader. In particular, I wish to learn more about leadership and management, company strategy and building high performing teams. I’m delighted to have won the Cambridge Social Innovation Prize 2022 and am so grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to expanding my network and connecting with the other prize winners.”

Katie Buckingham founded Altruist Enterprises in 2013 following her own personal experience of mental ill-health. Since then, she has grown Altruist into a specialist provider of in-person and online resiliance and mental health training to organisations and schools nationally.

Katie aims to create a culture where mental health is understood and treated in the same way as physical health. The company provides managers, colleagues, teachers and pupils with the skills to support themselves and each other through the many challenges of work and home.

Katie’s expert team have over 200 years of combined experience working in mental health and assisting organisations with bespoke well-being programmes. Since forming, they have trained over 10,000 individuals in resilience and mental health skills. The organisation reinvests a proportion of profits and resources to provide subsidised or free mental health workshops to young people and parents.

Tamara Macfarlane, Moon Lane:

Tamara Macfarlane

“The Cambridge Social Innovation Award offers a unique opportunity to learn from mentors who are leaders in the social ventures field, while becoming part of a wider network highlighting the many ways in which business can be used for positive and impactful social change. It could not have happened at a better time both for my own personal leadership development and for Moon Lane.”

Tamara Macfarlane is a children’s author and the founder and co-owner of Moon Lane, a specialist children’s bookseller established in 2003 to raise equality of access and representation in children’s books and in the publishing industry.

Tamara and her team work to address the lack of diversity the UK publishing industry by bridging the gap between the UK’s diverse population and UK publishing, to ensure that every child sees themselves represented in their children’s book ranges. Their wide-ranging initiatives include celebrating the work of authors and illustrators from under-represented groups, ensuring a route to market for more diverse titles, working with schools in communities to drive the conversation about inclusion in children’s books, and creating opportunities for young people from a more diverse range of backgrounds to access careers in bookselling and publishing.

Moon Lane includes four physical bookshops, a school supply and book consultancy, the delivery of annual literary festivals and a wide range of other initiatives promoting a life-long love of reading.

Alice Williams, Luminary Bakery:

Alice Williams

“This prize is a unique opportunity to invest in my development as I lead Luminary forwards. There are various courses I had identified to upskill me in my leadership and this award will finally make them accessible. There are women all over the UK who need services like Luminary, I plan on using this prize to set Luminary up for successful growth and to empower even more women to thrive.”

Alice Williams founded Luminary Bakery, a social enterprise providing training, employment and a community of support to some of the most disadvantaged women in London, after her experience of volunteering in the Whitechapel Red-Light area.

CEO Alice and her team use baking as a tool to support women who have experienced gender-based violence and multiple disadvantages. Offering vocational training, holistic support and paid job opportunities, Luminary empowers women to fulfil their potential by building careers and leaving disadvantage behind.

The company currently has two café locations and an online store selling celebration cakes and letterbox treats. With clients including Ben & Jerry’s, ASOS, Microsoft, and Disney, Luminary won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2020. Since starting in 2014, they have provided opportunities for 155 women and seen them go on to achieve remarkable things.

About the prize

Now in its fourth year, the Cambridge Social Innovation Prize is the cornerstone of an ongoing collaboration between Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School and Trinity Hall, one of the oldest colleges at the University. Supported by a generous donation from University of Cambridge (Trinity Hall) alumnus Graham Ross Russell.

Together, the School and the College are working to foster an interest in social innovation and entrepreneurship among students, fellows, and alumni, encouraging them to create new businesses and to pursue careers rooted in social and environmental impact.

For more information

Find out more about the Prize.

Find out more about the Trinity Hall Entrepreneurs Network.