Craigmillar-based local enterprise agency Cre8te Opportunities has won the 2015 Social Enterprise Scotland award for its work as a “genuine example of community led economic and social impact”.
The accolade came in the same week that the agency won Partnership Organisation of the Year from the Port of Leith Housing Association.
In an awards ceremony earlier this week (03 November) at the Scottish Parliament, Social Enterprise Scotland said Cre8te Opportunities has “specialised in nurturing enterprise in a very difficult neighbourhood – where worklessness is endemic and there is intense social and economic deprivation”.
The judges said the agency, which has its offices at the Castlebrae Business Centre, had shown “clear evidence of impact in Craigmillar but also on wider community”.
Neil Scott, Cre8te’s Chief Executive, said: “Two awards in two days was unexpected but nevertheless most welcome in recognition of the hard work of the team in Cre8te Opportunities.
“We know we achieve great things with our client group but don’t blow our own trumpet enough.
“Our Board of Directors and all the staff are delighted with the awards and we hope we can continue our work with our stakeholders for years to come.”
The job creation and skills training agency has been based in Craigmillar since 1991, originally under a different name: the Craigmillar Opportunities Trust.
Now, as Cre8te Opportunities it runs 20 business units, including a day centre and training facilities, at the Castlebrae Business Centre.
In one recent project, 1400 people from across Edinburgh have been trained in digital skills at Cre8te’s Digital Skills Academy during the last two years.
Scotland’s Finance Secretary and Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who attended the awards, said: “Social enterprises make a huge impact right across Scotland – tackling social problems and strengthening communities.
“They help create employment and skills opportunities, improve public services and support some of our hardest to reach individuals.”
In messages on its Twitter feed @CreateLtd thanked followers for their support, saying it was “delighted” and “overwhelmed” and by the award.
Social Enterprise Scotland said Cre8te Opportunities has focused attention on under-represented groups in this part of Edinburgh, including support for long term unemployed, individuals with mental health issues and addictions, females and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) entrepreneurs.