The Queen's Awards Magazine 2016

013-015_QAEPs16_Queen's Awards 24/06/2016 09:33 Page 15


Claire Locke

Bejay Mulenga


Co-Founder and Managing Director, Supa Academy, London

Co-Vice Chair, Enterprise Fellowship, The Prince's Trust, London

Founder and Chief Executive, Social Enterprise Acumen CIC, Durham KateWelchOBEDL is a serial social entrepreneur who has been supporting other people, mainly from disadvantaged areas, to start their own community or social enterprises. She founded her first social enterprise, Acumen Development Trust in 2003, which operates in the old coalfield area of County Durham and has now supported over 16,000 people from disadvantaged communities to gain employment or start their own businesses. Her proudest moment was in 2006 when the two colliery villages of Horden and Easington Colliery were chosen as the most enterprising places in the North East England. In 2008, Kate was awarded an OBE for her services to social enterprise in the North East of England. Kate founded Social Enterprise Acumen CIC to provide support to social entrepreneurs and organisations that wanted to be more socially enterprising and together with the Social Enterprise Acumen team has since supported over 400 entrepreneurs and fifty organisations. Kate was social entrepreneur in residence at Teesside University and works closely with Durham University on a variety of programmes, including acting as a judge and compere for the Blueprint Enterprise Challenge. She also gives guest lectures on social enterprise at Northumbria, Sunderland and Newcastle Universities and has worked with universities in Vietnam on a British Council Vietnam programme inspiring students to develop social enterprises to tackle gender inequality. She also founded the Social Entrepreneurs Network, which meets monthly in Durham and ran the first North East Social Enterprise Festival back in 2015 with plans for a second event to be held at the Sage in Gateshead on October 29th 2016. Kate is also a volunteer Non-Executive Director for the North East Social Investment CIC, Communities Together Durham and Jubilee Plus where she champions social enterprise as a way of tackling social issues with sustainable business models.

British GQmagazine’s May 2016 edition lists Bejay Mulenga as the youngest entry in their ‘100 most connected Men in 2016’ feature, noting that “Through his social enterprise academy, SUPA, Mulenga has forged high- quality connections across multiple sectors from government to big business, via the music industry.” Bejay Mulenga is a 20 year old entrepreneur who has been involved with enterprise and enterprise promotion since the age of 13, when he was given the responsibility of running a talent show for the young creatives in his local youth centre. Still aged 13, he subsquently fundraised £35,000 from his local council to rebuild the derelict studio and rehearsal space at the youth centre, while a year later, aged 14, he set up and ran his schools first tuck shop, which turned over £15,000 by the end of that academic year. After securing financial support and mentoring from government business schemes, Mulenga managed to develop this experience into a business model for a tuck shop enterprise which he then franchised to other schools under the Supa Tuck label, thus enabling young business studies students to earn as they learn about business. Supa Tuck was featured in Lord Young’s ‘Enterprise For All’ report, published in June 2014. Bejay also co-founded, with business partner Liam Tootill, the social enterprise Supa Academy, a platform teaching young people entrepreneurial skills via real life opportunities, seminars and events that engage young people through an applied learning model with advice from established business leaders. This endeavour subsequently led to an invitation to speak at the 2014 Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, after which George Osborne wrote to Mulenga, praising him as an “inspiration”who was “a better advertiser for our start-up loans scheme than any boring government publication”. In July 2015, Supa Academy launched the UK’s first pop-up Supa Market. Backed by Barclays, Pepsi Max, EE, River Island and Facebook, the three day event took over 50,000 square feet of the Truman Brewery in London to use as a department store run by over 400 young budding entrepreneurs and attended by over 5,000 consumers.

Claire Locke DL who studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St Hilda’s College Oxford, started her first business at the age of 24 importing fashion from Italy and supplying to upmarket retail groups such as Selfridges and John Lewis. She subsequently went on to co-found Artigiano, a successful mail-order and internet company marketing high-quality Italian clothes and accessories directly to consumers. Although the company marketed initially via a catalogue, it very quickly became one of the earliest successful online retail companies and was included in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2001. In 2006 the company was sold to Barclays Private Equity. Since then Mrs Locke has had a substantial impact on young people, particularly in her local area, with the wide range of enterprise promotion activities that she has carried out. Claire joined the Prince’s Trust in 2009 and subsequently became an Enterprise Fellow, and more recently Vice Chair of the Enterprise Fellowship – a group within the Princes Trust which is devoted to helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to start their own businesses. The Enterprise Fellowship do this via a thriving group of successful entrepreneurs who are prepared to financially support the Trust’s Enterprise Programme, by giving their time as mentors and by giving inspirational talks to young people who are starting out. As the High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight in 2014/15 Claire’s main theme was enterprise and business; she dedicated her time and effort towards developing a greater understanding of the economic and social implications of growing up on the island. Claire worked with the IOW Chamber of Commerce to raise the profile of Entrepreneurship on the Island and to make young people more aware of the possibility of starting their own businesses. Mrs Locke organized a ‘start your own business week’ and worked with the IOW College to deliver an Enterprise Week as well as visiting local schools with successful local entrepreneurs who talked about their business journeys while the Chamber of Commerce highlighted the practical help available. In April 2015 Mrs Locke joined the 1851 Trust; she is a role model and ambassador for the trust and has already become its Vice Chair.


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