Blackburne House CEO and Chair of the Social Enterprise Coalition Claire Dove has this month been honored with The Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion Lifetime Achievement Award.

 The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious accolades for businesses and individuals in the United Kingdom. The winners are announced each year on 21st April, Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday. The process is highly competitive – just eleven individuals were granted the Award for Enterprise Promotion, and only one Lifetime Achievement is recognised. Winners are invited to a reception with HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace in July.

The honour recognises Claire’s work with Blackburne House to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and Black people in the Merseyside area, her role in Liverpool’s recovery and regeneration since the city’s riots in 1981, and her commitment to growing the social enterprise sector across the UK and internationally.

The annual Regeneration and Renewal Survey cited Claire as an exemplary leader and one of the most admired people in regeneration. Last year she chaired Liverpool’s Fairness Commission, which is already changing the way the public and private sectors work together in the City.

Claire also champions the social enterprise sector in her role as chair of Social Enterprise UK – the national body for social enterprise. Her political and campaigns work – including her support for the Social Value Act, which became law in January 2013 – has contributed to the rise of the sector, which is now more than 68,000-businesses-strong in the UK. Social enterprises are now outstripping mainstream small and medium sized businesses for growth.

Claire has also been awarded an OBE in this year’s Birthday Honours List.

 Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said:

 “Claire has given thirty years of her life to the social enterprise cause in Liverpool. During that time she has grown to be seen as not only a great ambassador for the social enterprise model, but as someone whose innovation and ambition has raised standards right across the sector.  Through her work at Blackburne House, Claire has touched the lives of literally thousands of disadvantaged people. She has helped turn their lives around, and has given them opportunities that they simply wouldn’t have had were it not for her dedication, and her vision of a fair and equal society. She is continuing to work closely with me to promote fairness in Liverpool and beyond, she is seen as a role model, and countless people have told me what an inspiration she has been in their lives. I want to pay tribute to her for the devotion she has shown.”

Claire Dove, OBE DL, Chief Executive Blackburne House Group said:

“I’m honoured and delighted to be recognised by the The Queen’s Awards. The spotlight these awards have cast upon Social Enterprise is fantastic and the benefits will be long-lasting. You get a lifetime achievement award and think “this is me on the way out”. I wish I could end my working days saying, “It’s all sorted”. We’ve seen thousands of women get really good careers and start their businesses. But with the cuts we’re seeing now there are still some major issues and the conditions we are in are unique. I’ve never known things to be so bad.

It is important to strike a balance between passion and profitability. Social enterprises want to make money. It’s what we do with the money that is the difference.”

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