The Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) has been shortlisted in two categories – Education, Skills and Learning and Inspiring Youth Enterprise – in the UK Social Enterprise Awards.

The Awards, organised by Social Enterprise UK, recognise excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises – businesses that reinvest their profits for social and environmental good – as well as those who lead them.

The UK now has more than 70,000 social enterprises, employing a million people and contributing £24 billion to the economy each year. RIO is based in the southwest with offices in Plymouth, Liskeard and Bristol and is a pioneering social enterprise that brings imaginative and ethical business thinking to schools and education, places and regeneration and creative commercial ventures.

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO said: “We’re thrilled that our work has been recognised in not one but two categories at the national SEUK awards.

“We have been championing social enterprise and the power it has to empower people and transform places for almost a decade. Next year we will celebrate 10 years as RIO and to be shortlisted for these two prestigious national awards shows how far we have come as an organisation; it is a wonderful early birthday present.”

Peter Holbrook, Social Enterprise UK’s Chief Executive, said: “Congratulations to RIO! This year, the quality of the applications was outstanding. Social enterprises are continuing to grow, change lives and are proof that another way, a better way, of doing business is possible.”

Awards ceremony

The finals will take place on 28th November in London’s Covent Garden at the Grand Connaught Rooms. Guests will be entertained by the comedian and two time Edinburgh Comedy Awards finalist, Nish Kumar.

Political figures including the Rt. Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, and the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, will present awards to some of the winners.

Sponsors of the 2016 Awards include Big Society Capital, British Council, GLL, J&J, Landmarc, NatWest, PwC, Santander and Wates.