Vote for Katie! PJEA graduate shortlisted for Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Vote for Katie! Voting is now open at or you can text ‘SEYA17 KATIE’ to 82228.

We are thrilled to announce Peter Jones Enterprise Academy graduate and budding entrepreneur Katie Buckingham from Solihull has been shortlisted for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Award.

Katie is one of five finalists who have been selected and is in in with a chance of winning £10,000. She has been selected from the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Scale Up Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund.

Voting is open to the public at and closes on 31 October 2017 at 5pm. To vote via text message, text ‘SEYA17 Katie’ to 82228 – texts are free.

Katie Buckingham, aged 23, is the founder of Altruist Enterprises, a social enterprise which provides resilience, stress management and mental health first aid training to schools and organisations across the UK, raising awareness of mental health in the workplace and supporting skills development to prevent, identify and resolve problems.

On her award nomination, Katie said, “Winning the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017 would be amazing. It would make such a great difference to Altruist Enterprises as it would enable us to employ a sales person. This would help us gain more customers within private sector businesses, allowing us to reinvest more into our work with schools, helping young people to identify the early signs of an issue and seek appropriate support”.

Being on the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, has helped me to increase the social impact of Altruist Enterprises with the support of a comprehensive learning programme, business mentor and grant”.

More than 200 social entrepreneurs applied for the programme, with only 40 gaining a place. Following a competitive application process and a Dragons’ Den-style panel, the judges then picked five finalists to run for Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 – based on the impact they create, the growth they have achieved and the potential of their plans. The finalists have each received a comprehensive learning programme with SSE, a grant of £15,000, and a Lloyds Banking Group business mentor to help develop their enterprise and increase its social impact.

In addition to the grand prize of £10,000, there is also a second prize of £6,000 and third prize of £4,000.

We wish Katie the very best of luck!