Impact Arts’ Director Susan Aktemel was named as a winner in the social category of Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Scotland 2011. She will go forward to compete for the highly coveted UK Entrepreneur Of The Year in the social enterprise category in London in October.
This prestigious competition, organised by Ernst & Young and sponsored by Credit Suisse recognises the work and achievements of the UK’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs – and within the social enterprise category people who have deployed entrepreneurial skill and leadership in organisations that deliver positive social change. The overall UK winner will proceed to World Entrepreneur Of The Year Finals in Monte Carlo in May.
Having established the company in 1994, Susan has worked tirelessly to build a highly productive and dynamic business. It’s fitting that she should now be recognised as Scotland’s Social Entrepreneur Of The Year, as under her leadership Impact Arts has grown to be one of the most respected community arts companies in the UK and a hugely successful social enterprise, balancing innovation and creative approaches with excellent delivery, sound management and a strong ethos of collaboration and partnership. The company uses the arts as a tool for change – improving the environment, helping someone get back into work or simply raising quality of life.
Susan said at the awards ceremony at Gleneagles last night: “I’m thrilled to be one of the Scotland winners – it is a superb endorsement of the work we have been doing for many years and will spur us on to be even more ambitious in what we can achieve in the future. I’m really looking forward to the UK finals”.
Now in its 12th year in the UK and 24th globally, the awards programme was created to recognise and celebrate successful, dynamic and growing businesses and social enterprises and the contribution that they make to their communities and the business environment. It is an opportunity to recognise the energy, vision and passion of men and women who build and develop exceptional organisations.
John Anderson, Chief Executive of The Entrepreneurial Exchange and one of the members of the Ernst & Young judging panel said: “When I first met Susan I was struck by someone different – she’s an absolute entrepreneur and successfully applies her skills and ambition to life in a non-profit environment. It would be good to see more individuals like her in this sector. She’s a great role model and her success is inspiring for those involved in social enterprise. I look forward to following her progress and I wish her well in the London finals.”