Making a Mark Competition Shortlist

Celebrate the vast and diverse social benefits created by Social Enterprise Mark holders

Making a Mark competitionThe Making a Mark competition is back for another year!

This annual competition for our Mark holders celebrates and promotes the vast impact that accredited social enterprises make through their diverse activities, illustrating how social enterprises are creating considerable impact within their local communities and in wider society.

This year, we invited Mark holders to submit their ‘Social Enterprise Story’, using a medium of their choice, which helps encapsulate who they are and the nature of the social impact they create – i.e. how they are ‘Making a Mark’.

We were overwhelmed with the quality and variety of responses, and were left with a difficult job in shortlisting entries. We are delighted to announce the below shortlist.

The winner will be announced at a special reception at our annual conference (in Birmingham) on 19th June.

Entries were judged according to how engaging they were in describing what it means to be a genuine social enterprise, trading to deliver social benefit above that of personal profit. There was no strict criteria, but when judging entries, we gave consideration to the below aspects:

  • Is the social purpose and the nature of the social need being addressed clearly articulated? How imaginative and creative is the presentation?
  • Is it clear how the organisation is actually delivering social impact through its operations? E.g. what is the scope and nature of social benefits being delivered? Who are the social beneficiaries?

You can view the entries of the finalists below.


AUARA is a Spanish social enterprise selling premium bottled water to generate profits for investment in social projects to provide clean water to people in need.

The organisation sells premium branded mineral water and invests 100% of distributable profits in projects providing access to clean drinking water to those in need across the world. AUARA also seeks to minimise the environmental impact of the consumption of bottled water, and is the first water brand in Europe to use 100% recycled plastic (rPET) for its bottles, which have been specifically designed to be as efficient as possible in terms of transport optimisation.

It is the first company in Spain to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark accreditation.

AUARA submitted the below video and presentation as its entry:

AUARA logo

Brighter Futures logo

Brighter Futures

At Brighter Futures, helping people to lead fulfilled lives is at the heart of everything they do. As a social enterprise, any trading revenue is returned into the business to help support customers to lead fulfilled lives.  Every penny they generate helps provide services to support people who need a bit of help.

They believe that with tailored support, customers can be empowered to recognise and develop their strengths, confidence and self-esteem, manage their lives positively and build aspirations.

The Clubhouse Network provides vital mental health and wellbeing through one to one and group support, art therapies, activities, training, support with education and volunteering to provide vital early intervention as well as crisis support.

Brighter Futures has produced an e-book, ‘Our Stories’, which contains the stories of their customers, told in their own words. Their customers said if they help one person better understand mental health, one person to get help or one person to be better able to help someone, then it was worth sharing their stories.

Brighter Futures submitted the e-book and their most recent Social Enterprise Mark review submission as its entry:

Brighter Futures e-book


FamilyCarersNet is a social enterprise supporting carers, which has created a support hub named The Pod; an online community for carers, which offers direct support, information and advice.

It’s created by carers who know and understand what life is like, the challenges faced, the ups and downs, stresses and strains. The community provides a platform for carers, families, friends, work colleagues, employers and health professionals to share information, chat, and get advice.

FamilyCarersNet submitted the below video and written summary as its entry:

FamilyCarersNet logo

Hope Enterprises CIC logo

Hope Enterprises

Hope Enterprises CIC offers training and work opportunities in a range of small social enterprise businesses to people affected by homelessness, drugs, alcohol, poverty, mental health and other disadvantage.

Hope Enterprises runs a range of businesses to provide opportunities for clients and to raise funds, all profits from which are re-invested into the company or the parent charity. These include:

  • Hope Catering
  • Hope Food Club
  • Hope Gardening

Hope Enterprises submitted the below video and written overview as its entry:

Millfields Trust

Millfields Trust is a place where business and the community come together. Located in the heart of Stonehouse in Plymouth, the Trust is a trading social enterprise working in partnership with Plymouth City Council, local business and the community to help regenerate the Stonehouse area.

The Trust is proud to be celebrating their 20th Birthday this year. They are a small team of passionate people who work very hard to ensure that the local community really does profit from business.

Over the last 20 years, Millfields Trust has invested over £1.5 million into the Stonehouse community. They have given grants and donations to a number of community groups and organisations in Stonehouse which support their ethos, share their vision and improve the lives of all those living and working in Stonehouse.

Their own charity, Millfields Inspired, works daily with local schools, taking year 5 pupils into different organisations, which allows the children to understand the importance of education and the world of work and how this can influence their life outside of the school.

Millfields Trust submitted the below video as its entry:

Millfields Trust logo

University of Northampton logo

University of Northampton

The University of Northampton is one of the youngest universities in the UK, but is already leading the way in adding value to society. They have won multiple awards for work in this area, but what matters the most to them is ensuring that students and graduates have the opportunity to make their mark on the world too. That’s why they were the first university in the UK to be named as a Changemaker Campus in 2012.

The University wants to break the mould of what Higher Education can be, and has a mission to ‘transform lives and inspire change’.

The below five minute video from ITN Productions focuses on the University’s  involvement in the Roots of Empathy project, which raises levels of empathy in children, resulting in more respectful and caring relationships and reduced levels of bullying and aggression.

It also offers an insight into the University’s successful partnership with the award-winning Goodwill Solution CIC, which helps the local community through the creation of projects and schemes designed to improve social welfare.