Providing new skills to refugees

The Bike Project offers a supportive community for refugees to learn new skills through active workshops.

Camberwell-based entrepreneur Jem Stein of the Bike Project was the winner of the 2015 award following a public vote from a shortlist of five finalists, who came from a broad range of entrepreneurial backgrounds – from a sustainable food enterprise to a project helping those released from prison.

Jem’s involvement began when he joined the Start Up programme to get his project up and running. After graduating he joined Scale Up and gained £15,000 in funding and a mentor to help develop his enterprise as well as vital training. Jem has also been named as an official supplier for bike maintenance to Lloyds Bank.

Having mentored a refugee whilst at university, Jem was inspired in 2013 to provide second-hand bikes to refugees in and around London, providing essential access to free transport in the city and giving them improved accessibility to healthcare, education and social activities. Additionally The Bike Project offers an inclusive and supportive community for refugees to learn new skills through active workshops. In winning the award, Jem received the grand prize of £10,000 to help develop The Bike Project further.

Alastair Wilson, CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, said “I am thrilled that Jem has been named the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2015. We have seen his idea grow from a concept into this amazing organisation that has given bikes to over 1,000 refugees. I’m excited to see how winning this Award will help the project grow further.”

The Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, delivered in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs, launched in April 2012 and provides both financial support 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 country.

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