Refugee bike supplier wins Social Entrepreneur of the Year award

Bike Project founder picks up the gong
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Camberwell-based entrepreneur Jem Stein, founder of The Bike Project, has been announced as the winner of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015.

Stein was named the winner of a public vote from a shortlist of five finalists, who came from a broad range of entrepreneurial backgrounds – from a sustainable food enterprise to a project helping those released from prison.

All five are from the 2014/15 cohort of the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, which is run in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs with support from the Big Lottery Fund.

Having mentored a refugee whilst at university, Jem Stein was inspired to create The Bike Project in 2013 to provide second-hand bikes to refugees in and around London, providing essential access to free transport in the city. By providing refugees with bikes they have improved accessibility to healthcare, education and social activities and The Bike Project offers an inclusive and supportive community for refugees to learn new skills through active workshops.

Stein's involvement with the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme began when he joined the Start Up programme to get his project up and running. After graduating he joined Scale Up which provides training, £15,000 in funding and a mentor to help develop existing enterprises. Stein has also been named as an official supplier for bike maintenance to Lloyds Bank.

Having mentored a refugee whilst at university, Jem Stein was inspired to create The Bike Project in 2013 to provide second-hand bikes to refugees in and around London, providing essential access to free transport in the city. By providing refugees with bikes they have improved accessibility to healthcare, education and social activities and The Bike Project offers an inclusive and supportive community for refugees to learn new skills through active workshops.

In being named the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Jem Stein received the grand prize award of £10,000 to help develop The Bike Project. Nick Green, owner of Incredible Farm, took home £6,000 after finishing second in the public vote and Michelle King from Little Miracles took home £4,000 after being named third.

The Bike Project founder said: "I am thrilled to win the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. I am incredibly fortunate to have learned from the fantastic team as part of the Social Entrepreneurs Programme and working with other entrepreneurs has been so valuable to both my own development and to The Bike Project. The £10,000 prize will do a huge amount to help the project continue to expand and support refugees across London.”

Paula Rogers, Head of the Social Entrepreneurs Enterprise Programme at Lloyds Banking Group said: “I offer my personal congratulations to Jem on being named the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2015. All five finalists for the award this year demonstrated their dedication to making a difference and being sustainable enterprises. Our commitment to the Social Entrepreneurs programme sits at the heart of our helping Britain Prosper Plan and we look forward to seeing these enterprises flourish and continue to bring long-lasting benefit to communities, individuals and the environment.”

Alastair Wilson, CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “I am thrilled that Jem has been named the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2015. Since meeting Jem in 2012 we have seen his idea grow from a concept into this amazing organisation that has given bikes to over 1000 refugees. I’m excited to see how winning this Award will help the project grow further. I would also like to congratulate our other finalists Caroline, Michelle, Nick, Simon who are doing incredible things and are a huge inspiration to everyone at SSE and their communities.”

thebikeproject.co.uk

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