The Big Lemon has just scooped the European Urban Network of Social Enterprises Award for Best Social Enterprise. The program was the final part of the Urban N.O.S.E. project that was presented in the city of Gela, Sicily last week.
The Urban N.O.S.E. Project is an URBACT initiative, an EU exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development. It is a social enterprise network with 9 partner cities from different parts of the EU, and Brighton & Hove is the only city from the UK. Other countries represented are Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Finland.
The Partnership project is lead in Brighton & Hove by the Brighton & Hove Social enterprise steering group, comprising the City Council, the B & H Business Community Partnership, Business Link, Care Co-ops, Brighton Housing Trust and the Big Lemon with the job of implementing the Brighton & Hove Social enterprise strategy.
The Big Lemon was asked to join the social enterprise steering group in 2009 as it is a working model of a local social enterprise and has built up a high profile in the City in a short time and has both social and environmental goals.
To win the award, each partner city was asked to shortlist 5 social enterprises, and then to choose a winner to represent the city at the European Awards. The Big Lemon was chosen to represent Brighton & Hove and had to give a presentation to the European judging panel which duly picked the Big Lemon as the outright winner.
Tom Druitt, the Managing Director of Big Lemon said,
“ We’re all delighted The Big Lemon has won the EU ‘s award for Best Social Enterprise. It’s a huge honour and gives us renewed energy to make this project work well. Over the last few months the level of support we have received from the public has been unprecedented, and with international recognition now too it’s clear that this is something we must cherish and nuture for the future.”