Finalist in the UK Social Enterprise Awards

We're a finalist in the UK Social Enterprise Award for the best Social Investment Deal of the Year!
UK Social Enterprise Awards 2021

Micro Rainbow has been shortlisted in the UK Social Enterprise Awards, recognising it as one of the leading social enterprises in the country. Micro Rainbow is a finalist in the Social Investment Deal of the Year category.

Founded in 2012 Micro Rainbow is the leading organisation in the UK supporting the integration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people who flee persecution. Micro Rainbow’s holistic approach to integration is based on three pillars:

These programmes ensure that LGBTQI refugees are safe and are able to live fulfilling lives in the UK.

In the last year, Micro Rainbow has supported 637 LGBTQI people fleeing persecution with 18,980 bed-nights, 106 social inclusion and 25 employability workshops.

Award winning organisation

Micro Rainbow is already an award-winning organisation, recognised for creating the first ever national safe housing scheme for LGBTQI people fleeing persecution in the UK and recently named one of the Top 100 social enterprises in the NatWest SE100 Index 2021.

There are 100,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing £60bn to the economy, each one set up to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face, from homelessness to the climate emergency. The UK Social Enterprise Awards run by Social Enterprise UK, the national membership body for social enterprises, recognise the nation’s most pioneering social enterprises. Micro Rainbow will be joining other shortlisted organisations at the prestigious awards ceremony held at London’s iconic Guildhall on 8 December 2021.

Commenting on being shortlisted, Founder Chief Executive of Micro Rainbow Sebastian Rocca said:

“When we created Micro Rainbow we had an ambitious dream. We wanted to create an organisation that changed and sometimes saved the lives of LGBTQI people fleeing death and persecution. We also wanted it to be innovative, sustainable and scalable throughout the UK. Being shortlisted for the “Social Investment Deal of the Year” comes as recognition of this vision. Thanks to the pro-bono work of Weil Gotshal and Manges*, social investment from Charity Bank and other six social investors** we will be able to scale our innovative programming and become a sustainable organisation while supporting LGBTQI people escaping persecution to find safety and happiness in the UK.

We look forward to the expansion of our services so that no LGBTQI person coming to the UK to seek safety needs to experience isolation, poverty or violence and abuse in housing”.

Ed Siegel, CEO of Charity Bank added:

“One of Micro Rainbow’s tenants recently shared with us a harrowing account of the discrimination and abuse he received during his initial stay in the UK. It was only when he was placed in a Micro Rainbow safehouse that he finally felt secure amongst a supportive community. We are incredibly proud and inspired by how our £1.5 million loan, alongside funding from six trusts and foundations, is helping Micro Rainbow to more than triple its housing provision.”

Commenting on the Awards, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook said:

“The UK Social Enterprise Awards are back, bigger and better than ever before. We have had a record number of applications this year, all of which have showcased the strength, dynamism, and resilience of the social enterprise community through what’s been an incredibly difficult and uncertain period.

Over the course of the pandemic social enterprises have been going above and beyond the call of duty to support their teams, the individuals, and communities they work with, showing the grit, determination and innovation so inherent to this sector. They’ve been operating directly on the frontline of the crisis, launching new products and pivoting their business models to meet the needs of communities and society as a whole.

The Awards are all about celebrating the achievements of the UK’s social enterprise movement, which is showing us that another way of doing business is possible – one which has never been more important as we look to build back better and address the climate emergency.”

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*The partnership between Micro Rainbow and Weil Gotshal and Manges was facilitated by TrustLaw in 2016. TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal programme. They connect high-impact NGOs and social enterprises. Since 2016 Weil Gotshal and Manges has provided Micro Rainbow with over 250 hours of pro-bono legal advice, including to structure the social investment deal the led Micro Rainbow to be nominated for this award.

**Micro Rainbow is grateful to the following trusts and foundations for their social investment, trust and support: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Trust for London, People’s Postcode Lottery, Barrow Cadbury Trust and City Bridge Trust.