Launched in April 2012, the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme delivered in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs provides both financial support (grants from between £4,000 – £15,000) and comprehensive learning support including a business mentoring scheme.  The programme is designed to support social entrepreneurs in communities and, through them, help stimulate economic growth and regeneration across the UK.

Five entrepreneurs graduating from the 2014/15 cohort have been named on the shortlist for its Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The shortlist highlights a terrific range of entrepreneurial ideas from a programme providing refugees with second-hand bikes to a training and support service delivered by reformed offenders.

The five finalists on the Social Entrepreneur of the Year shortlist, who are in with the chance of winning the £10,000 grand prize award, are:

Nick Green, West Yorkshire, Incredible Farm: A community enterprise producing food with minimal impact on the environment while at the same time teaching young people about small scale commercial food growing

Michelle King, Peterborough, Little Miracles: An enterprise that supports families that have children with additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions. Little Miracles supports over 1,500 families and 5,000 children

Simon Short, Grimsby, Inspiring Intelligence: Helps those released from prison overcome their social and economic difficulties by offering training and support, delivered by reformed offenders

Jem Stein, London, The Bike Project: Provides second-hand bikes to refugees in and around London. By attending workshops and helping to fix their own bike, all refugees get actively involved in the process as much as possible, teaching them basic bike maintenance and forming long-term supportive relationships

Caroline Tomlinson, Wigan, My Life: Supports children and adults with disabilities, people with ill health or age-related problems as well people who generally feel lonely or isolated within their communities. Workshops, meeting areas, outings, fun days and training opportunities are provided as part of the programme to combat loneliness through community activity

Find out more about each finalist by watching the video below:

In addition to the grand prize award of £10,000, prizes of £6,000 and £4,000 will be awarded to the runner-ups, as voted for by the public.

Voting is open at , and closes on 30 October.

The winners will be announced on the evening of 04 November at a ceremony in London.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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