The awards are the biggest celebration of social enterprise in Scotland, recognising innovation, impact and success in social enterprise – businesses that aim to change the world for the better.
Jordan McPhail was revealed as the winner of the 'Social Enterprise Champion – under 26' category, co-sponsored by Firstport and Challenges Group. The category was introduced for the first time this year, as Scotland celebrates the Year of Young People.
21-year-old Jordan started setting up Aspire Community Solutions while he was sitting his Standard Grade exams. He first received Firstport funding at the age of 18 and earlier this year became the youngest ever recipient of a Build It award, allowing him to commit to running Aspire on a full-time basis.
Jordan’s business provides construction, landscaping and groundwork’s as well as cleaning services, whilst training up those with barriers to employment and enhancing community spaces. In the last year, Aspire Community Solutions has supported around 30 individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including long term unemployed, ex-offenders and young persons, achieving great success rates – 90% moving into employment, with a further 7% progressing into education or training.
Jordan McPhail said: “I grew up in Ferguslie Park, an area of high deprivation and a lack of opportunities. To have a teacher in secondary school tell me that I wouldn’t even be a cleaner in Asda just added to my fire – not only to prove them wrong, but also help other young people and those with barriers to employment. I established Aspire as in my eyes the only way to do business is through a social enterprise. Being a social entrepreneur is a way of life and I certainly wouldn’t change that as the impact you have on others is life changing.”
Congratulations also to Callum MacKinnon, founder of bOunceT, who was Highly Commended in the category.
Callum set up bOunceT in 2016 at just 23 years of age and whilst still at GCU working towards an Occupational Therapist degree. bOunceT uses a trampoline as a tool to engage children and adults with a wide range of disabilities and additional support needs. Read his case study on the Firstport website.
Callum MacKinnon said: "I love what I do and I am delighted that my work has been recognised by so many different individuals and organisations - it feels unreal going from only running sessions at weekends whilst studying to now working on the enterprise seven days a week and employing staff!"
For full details on all of the 2018 Social Enterpise Awards Scotland winners, visit the website.
If you're aged 16-26 and have an idea to make a difference, take a look at our Pounds for Purpose programme - with £500 and business support up for grabs to help you get started!