Sharon Reid

 

Congratulations to Cemal Ezel, the East-Dulwich based social entrepreneur of Change Please, has been crowned the winner of  Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017.

Cemal 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, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund, and has received the grand prize of £10,000 to help develop Change Please even further.

Second prize went to Nikki Markham of Battling On in Cornwall, who was awarded £6,000 and Rachel Roger of Reform Radio in Manchester came in third place with a prize of £4,000.

Cemal is the founder of Change Please, a social enterprise which uses coffee as a way out of homelessness. Change Please trains homeless people to become baristas and provides a London-living wage job, housing and bank account and therapy support to its beneficiaries. Selling coffee in mobile vans across London, Change Please coffee is now being stocked in 500 Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.

L to R: Paula Rogers – Head of Social Enterprise at Lloyds Banking Group, Cemal Ezel – Founder of Change Please & Winner of Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017,  Nick Hewar – Presenter of the award

On winning the award, Cemal said: “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.”

Paula Rogers, Head of Social Enterprise at Lloyds Banking Group said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Cemal as the winner of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017 and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for him. The calibre of this year’s finalists has been extremely high and they have made significant progress with the support of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, which sits at the heart of our commitment to help Britain prosper. I look forward to seeing how these inspirational individuals continue to create positive social change in their local communities”.

Commenting on the progress that Cemal has made, 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.”

The Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, sits at the heart of Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment to help Britain prosper and will support 2,350 entrepreneurs to start and scale social businesses by 2020.