Impactful women in business, seven women affiliated with the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation recognised in WISE100 list.

Impactful women in business

7 March 2022

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Seven women affiliated with the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation recognised in WISE100 list.

Seven women affiliated with the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation recognised in WISE100 list.

Seven women associated with the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation (CCSI) at Cambridge Judge Business School are featured in this year’s WISE100 (Women in Social Enterprise 100) list. Supported by NatWest bank and Pioneers Post, the list recognises the 100 most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and mission-driven business.  

Six of those featured graduated from the Cambridge Social Ventures incubator programme, part of CCSI. They are: 

  • Anne Bailey from Cambridgeshire-based Form the Future, which gets young people ready for work. 
  • Laura North from We Speak, which boosts public speaking confidence.  
  • Tina Chen of HumaniTea, which crafts healthy ready-to-drink plant-based tea lattes. 
  • Laura Rana from Khushi Kantha, a firm working with mothers in Bangladesh to create traditional baby blankets.  
  • Sarah Jordan of ethical underwear company Y.O.U Underwear.  
  • Emma Baines from Find your Voice, which designs and delivers singing programmes for vulnerable people.  

In addition, Susan Aktemel, a Cambridge Social Innovation Prize winner (2019), was recognised for Glasgow-based social enterprise lettings agency Homes for Good. Susan is also one of the commissioners on the Adebowale Commission on UK Social Investment, which recently published its report.  

Nicole Helwig, Programme Director of Cambridge Social Ventures, said: “It is wonderful to see many inspiring women on this year’s WISE100 list with connections to Cambridge Social Ventures. We’re proud to see how they have been successful and impactful. It is an indicator to us that our incubator programme is also having an impact through the work of our social entrepreneurs. 

“As we approach International Women’s Day, celebrating these women in social enterprise is also a recognition that 47% of social enterprises in the UK are women-led. Social enterprise has the potential to bolster women’s empowerment both through the female social entrepreneurs who launch their ventures and through the social issues addressed. 

“However, we must not neglect the gender inequalities of the wider economy that are replicated in social enterprise. That women social entrepreneurs tend to earn less than their male counterparts in both the social enterprise and for-profit sectors needs to be addressed.”

The Wise100 Awards will be announced at a special event in London on 18 March, with honours in four categories Social Business Leader of the Year, Environmental Champion, Social Investment Champion, and Star of the Future. 

Susan Aktemel of Homes for Good is short-listed for WISE100 Social Business Leader of the Year, which honours a CEO or leader with more than three years of leadership experience building revenue, social impact and a strong team. Laura North of We Speak is short-listed for WISE100 Star of the Future, honouring a CEO or leader showing star qualities relatively new in their social enterprise career, with three or fewer years of leadership experience.

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