INSP named Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year

Scottish-based INSP (International Network of Street Papers) has been named ‘Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year’ at both the Scottish and UK annual Social Enterprise Awards.

From its base in Glasgow, INSP supports more than 120 ‘street paper’ social enterprises, in 40 countries worldwide. Street papers, like The Big Issue magazine, are independent newspapers and magazines that exist to help homeless people earn a dignified income.

Street paper vendors are micro entrepreneurs in their own right – buying their copies for half of the cover price, and selling them to earn their own income. Over the past two decades, INSP’s street papers have helped more than 200,000 people to lift themselves out of poverty.

INSP provides training and resources to its street papers including an online editorial service. The organisation also safeguards the sustainability of street papers, through research and innovation. To take concept into 21st century, INSP recently launched the world’s first digital street paper – currently trialling in Manchester. Customers buy an access code from their vendor, to read a digital edition on their smartphone, tablet or computer.

Speaking of the two awards, INSP’s Executive Director Lisa Maclean said: “This is a great recognition for the contribution of street papers to the social enterprise movement and we are proud to support such a dynamic network”.

The UK awards were presented last night in London, organised by Social Enterprise UK, the national body for the sector. This year’s winners were chosen by a panel of expert judges from a record number of entries. Comedian and television presenter Sue Perkins presented the winners with bespoke trophies.

The Scottish Awards, organised by Social Enterprise Scotland, were presented at a parliamentary reception and ceremony at the Scottish Parliament by John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth.

INSP staff at the presentation of the Scottish award
(Photo: Becky Duncan)