Divine Chocolate: The Big Winner

It's yummy, it's fair-trade and it's a big winner. Not only with the choco-holics, but also of the Enterprising Solutions Award. This prize is given to the most innovative social enterprises in the UK and this fair-trade chocolate company co-owned by Ghanaian cocoa farmers is a wonderful example of how to use business to create solutions to social and environmental issues. The 45,000 members of the Ghanaian Kuapa Kokoo cooperative not only receive a fair price for their cocoa but also a share of the profits. They own 45% of the company, get a fair price for cocoa, training and in 2007 received their first dividend: a dollar each for every member. The rest of the profits were invested back into the business.

Other winners included Women Like Us (finds part-time jobs for women), Goodwin Development Trust (Hull-based community redevelopment project), McSence (community regeneration in Scottish mining towns) and Haven Products (meaningful employment for the disabled). Social enterprises are businesses with a social purpose to deliver lasting social and environmental change. The best known ones are Cafedirect, the Eden Project and Jamie Oliver's Fifteen. :: Social Enterprise Coalition Via :: The Observer

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