Sebastian Rocca enters the Social Enterprise UK fellows’ hall of fame

Sebastian Rocca, Founder and CEO of Micro Rainbow, receives honorary fellowship from Social Enterprise UK for his contribution to supporting the social enterprise movement
Sebastian Rocca

Sebastian Rocca, Founder and CEO of Micro Rainbow, receives honorary fellowship from Social Enterprise UK for his contribution to supporting the social enterprise movement.

Sebastian Rocca has been recognised for his outstanding work in shaping, guiding and championing the UK’s social enterprise sector by being awarded an honorary fellowship from Social Enterprise UK, the trade body for the sector. He received the award at the Social Enterprise Awards ceremony held at the Guildall on 8th December 2021.

The fellowship is awarded to those individuals who have not only taken their own organisations from strength to strength but who have also played a part in championing the wider social enterprise movement. Current fellows include microfinance pioneer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, CEO of Divine Chocolate, Sophie Tranchell, CEO of Blackburne House and VCSE Crown Representative, Claire Dove and the founder of Crowdfunder, Phil Geraghty.

Sebastian Rocca is a social entrepreneur, social innovator and LGBTQI activist. He is the founder of Micro Rainbow and the Micro Rainbow International Foundation. These organisations promote equality of LGBTQI people through housing, employment and small businesses, both in the UK and internationally. In the UK, Sebastian created the first national housing scheme for homeless LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees. In Cambodia, he designed and implemented the first micro-finance programme for the benefit of LGBTQI people in poverty. In Brazil, Micro Rainbow has trained over 500 LGBTQI people in poverty and facilitated the opening of dozens LGBTQI owned small businesses.

Sebastian Rocca, said:

“I am humbled to be included in the Social Enterprise UK hall of fame as an honorary fellow. It has always been my dream to create new models for social change that are sustainable, scalable and replicable and which change LGBTQI people’s lives. This recognition fills me with pride and the reassurance that my dream is coming true.

There is a dearth of innovative and disruptive LGBTQI organisations which adopt the social enterprise model. I hope this award might inspire others to embark on a similar journey to mine and for the benefit of the LGBTQI community. 

In many countries all over the world LGBTQI people live in poverty and destitution because of the rejection they face by their families, communities and employers. Although social enterprises are not the solution to poverty, violence and discrimination of LGBTQI people worldwide, it is my strong belief that they are a powerful vehicle for furthering LGBTQI equality in some countries.

I am grateful to Social Enterprise UK for this recognition and, in doing so, for raising awareness of the potential role that social enterprises can and should play in the fight for LGBTQI equality”.

Commenting on the announcement of this year’s fellows Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said:

“In a world that often feels a little bleak, it is ever more important to recognise the achievements of those that have dedicated themselves to creating solutions within their communities and across the world. They are true champions of social entrepreneurship and set new standards in the arena of progressive business. This year’s fellows are showing us that another way of doing things is possible. They’ve been supporting communities through the most difficult of years going above and beyond to support the people they work with. Faced with the reality of the climate emergency and a world that is increasingly hostile to the vulnerable and marginalised – they are showing how business can go hand in hand with kindness and care.

It is an honour to introduce the 2021 fellows into our hall of fame. Coming from across the social enterprise sector they include community pioneers, entrepreneurs committed to opening up opportunities for those often left behind and pioneers of inclusion and diversity. Social enterprises are the future of business, and the work of our fellows shows why this is the case.”

See the full list of Social Enterprise UK Honorary Fellows.