Cyclemaster Pedals 4 All, a Community Interest Company catering to anyone keen to get on a bike and start riding, has been recognised as a leading social enterprise in the North East of England in results announced today at the 2013 RBS SE100 awards.
The RBS SE100 Index is an online listing of social ventures, ranked and scored according to their growth and social impact. The live market intelligence platform is designed to provide a substantial data resource for investors, commissioners and policymakers as they seek to understand the landscape of the social economy and identify top performers across the UK.
Cyclemaster pedals for all CIC was named the top organisation in the North East, closely followed by Co-Wheels car club, a ‘pay-as-you-go’ car renting service working at reducing carbon emissions, and Bishopwearmouth Landscapes, a horticultural, landscaping & florist community interest company in Sunderland.
Run by ex-local authority workers Dave Cook and Marguerite Brydon, Cyclemaster Pedals 4 All is about getting people in the local community out on their bikes, using sustainable transport and safely.
Not a cycle scheme aimed just at the pros, Cyclemaster work with cyclists from all age groups to promote cycling as an alternative transport method and fun activity. Among their projects are try-out sessions, maintenance and safety classes and school cycle sessions where the children are encouraged to bring along their own bikes for Dave and his team to service, free-of-charge.
“Cyclemaster isn’t about the gear, it’s about getting the community talking to each other and working together. We use cycling as a tool to do that.” -Dave
Keen to take the elitism out of cycling, Cyclemaster are partnering the local housing association who are working hard at getting unemployed residents back to the work place. When a person finds a job Cyclemaster provide them with a discounted bike, helmet, lock and lights as a way to get to work which is cheap, healthy and sustainable.
Having seen a growth percentage over the last 2 years of 137% Cyclemaster see themselves continuing to grow in the future so that they can expand projects and work with more people in their region.
Where it was once tough to convince people the reasons behind being a social enterprise Dave has found that through raising people’s awareness about social business Cyclemaster has been able to convince people profits can do more to benefit their community. Now, he says there are more social enterprises appearing in his area although Cyclemaster remains one of the first.
Ian Walters, MD Business Banking at RBS, said: “RBS has been supporting ventures which provide enterprising solutions to social problems for many years and the RBS SE100 Index is a key initiative in our commitment to build on this. This year both the quality and quantity of applicants has been extremely strong, a testament to the success of the sector. We congratulate the 2013 winners and applaud all those organisations across society who are striving for positive change in their communities through entrepreneurship and enterprise.”
The Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, says: “Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said: “The UK is a world leader in social investment, and these results confirm the staggering social and financial contribution that social enterprises make to our economy. That is why we are doing everything we can to support growth in this vibrant sector by encouraging the development of market infrastructure, such as committing to a tax relief for investment in social enterprise.”
Organisations listed on the web platform can use the SE100 tool to create confidential comparative reports of their own performance, benchmarked against others in the country, their region or sector. The 2013 RBS SE100 is the richest live information resource for social ventures in the UK, this year’s national figures reveal significant average national growth of 82%, compared to 24% last year.
Tim West, co-founder of the RBS SE100, said: “Our latest, live RBS SE100 platform has identified the UK’s leaders in this vibrant and rapidly growing sector. Thanks to RBS’s support in taking the Index online this year, social enterprises now have a powerful platform to showcase and benchmark the positive impact they are making in communities across the UK.”
Jeremy Nicholls, CEO of the SROI Network and one of the awards judges, commented: “I am heartened by the growing interest in measurement that recognises the importance of accountability and value, which has been clearly demonstrated by social enterprises that have entered for the RBS100 social impact award this year – making judging all the harder.”