Cemal Ezel, founder of social enterprise Change Please, has won this year’s Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Change Please is a social enterprise that uses coffee as a way out of homelessness, by training homeless people to become baristas and providing a London-living wage job, and housing and bank account and therapy support to its beneficiaries. Change Please coffee is sold form mobile vans across London, and is also now being stocked in 500 Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.
Ezel (centre in image) was one of five finalists shortlisted for the national Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the 2016/2017 cohort of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs programme, which is run in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund. The winner was decided by public vote with Ezel receiving the grand prize of £10,000 to help develop Change Please further.
Nikki Markham of Battling On in Cornwall took home the second prize of £6,000 and Rachel Roger of Reform Radio in Manchester was awarded £4,000 in third place.
“I am delighted to win the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017. The £10,000 prize will help us to continue to increase the social impact of Change Please and enable us to purchase another coffee van, which can support eight homeless people per year. The support of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme over the past year has been fantastic, and I’ve learnt a lot from my Lloyds Bank mentor and fellow social entrepreneurs on the programme.”
Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs said:
“Cemal has made considerable progression over the past year with the support of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund and he is deserving winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017. I look forward to seeing how the Award will help him to develop Change Please and continue to scale their fantastic social impact across London.”
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