The Utilize Project has won the award for Best Social Enterprise at the StartUp Awards National Series.
The award was judged by Philip Belament, founder and CEO of Zilch, serial entrepreneur Hugh Chappell, and Wesley Rashid, co-founder and CEO of Accountancy Cloud, notice exceptional individuals who have acted on an issue and created an innovative and successful business to combat it.
Awards were presented to start-ups under a range of categories, including fintech, drink, green and social.
The Utilize Project who secured the Social Enterprise award, was founded in 2019 and has since helped to home over 80 SMEs and community first groups around the Canary Wharf area through meanwhile space projects, with plans to brand out to further East London boroughs in the coming months.
Mahmud Shahnawaz, founder of the social enterprise says, “This award is very meaningful to us all as it recognises not only all the hard work put in, but also shows the increased recognition of the importance of meanwhile spaces in urban areas.”
“We are already receiving an influx of interest from communities and people looking to benefit from our mission to help neglected neighbourhoods take a U-turn.”, he adds.
Research by The Utilize Project recently revealed that almost 36 million square feet of office space was going unused in London , with a further report by the London Green Party stating that around 800 shops, industrial units and community spaces were left neglected in the capital .
The work done by The Utilize Project helps to combat the capitals empty space problem, along with providing a temporary home for community first businesses as commercial rental rates remain high.
“We are continuing to use our resources, connections, and drive to do good to breathe life back into vacant spaces, and this award makes The Utilize Project more credible in the Meanwhile Space sector while we expand into further boroughs and cities.”, explains Shahnawaz.
The awarding body states that over 400,000 start-ups were created in 2020 alone, proving that there’s an uplift of entrepreneurship in the UK.