Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin has won a national award to celebrate and recognise the area as a hotspot of social enterprise.
Social Enterprise UK, the national body for social enterprises, said the area was thriving with activity as they gave it Social Enterprise Place status.
It means the county can now join a network of pioneering hotspots around the world.
Peter Holbrook, CEO at Social Enterprise UK said: “Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin fully deserve this award and I’ve been impressed by the variety of social enterprises in the area working hard to tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges such as long-term unemployment and mental health issues.”
Social Enterprises are businesses with a social or environmental mission.
Over the last 10 years many social enterprises which have had an impact around the country have started in Shropshire, including FUSE CIC, Social Heart CIC, Fordhall Farm in Market Drayton and Designs in Mind, based in Oswestry.
Jean Jarvis MBE, managing director of FUSE CIC and CEO of Ludlow-based charity The Furniture Scheme, said she was delighted with the national award.
She said: “The award aims to promote and raise awareness of these local businesses and encourage the public to buy from them.
“We are delighted to be recognised for this after a lot of hard work at all levels.
“There are some excellent community interest companies across Shropshire and Telford.”
Nicky Kent, Social Enterprise Business Consultant and director of Social Heart CIC based in Chirbury, said: “This is a fantastic award, we have been recognised as a leader in the sector.
“We have a great opportunity to unlock investment, showcase local businesses and share best practice from around the UK.”
The award will be handed over at a social enterprise summit and networking event at University Centre Shrewsbury on November 15.
From 10.30am to 3.30 guests will have a chance to listen to keynote speakers including Peter Holbrook, CEO, Social Enterprise UK, Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Dr Julian Povey from NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Judith Wester from Cedar CIC will share her social enterprise story.
Jean added: “We think it’s a must attend event for third sector, local authorities and large and small businesses.”