On Wednesday 27th November StandFirm, a community interest company, owned by Mustard Tree, won the Greater Manchester Business award at the Yunus Social Business Awards.
The awards are endorsed by Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize winner whose life’s work has been to prove that the poor are credit-worthy. He set up Grameen bank in Bangladesh with the aim of providing microloans to entrepreneurs who were too poor to qualify for traditional credit.
The Yunus awards recognise business activity that addresses a social need and benefits communities. In StandFirm’s case, the need they identified was one “for those struggling in life to find stability, confidence and a clear path forward”.
The Ancoats-based enterprise, managed by Mike Green, works with our Freedom Project to offer training and employment to those who had enrolled in the scheme. In this way, StandFirm provides a way to overcome the final hurdle for those looking to get back on track: “In many cases the trainees are highly skilled and have an amazing work ethic but just need somebody to offer them a second chance.”
StandFirm primarily operates a Voids Project, offering a professional and reliable service for clearing properties. Their teams removed over 1000 tonnes of waste from houses in 2011-2013, cleared over 1600 properties, and have provided work experience to around 80 people, some of which have gained employment with StandFirm. As well as recruiting their staff from Freedom Project clients, StandFirm gifts all its profit to us.
They are looking to develop the company further by obtaining new contracts and clearing more houses, which in turn will enable them to take on more staff and offer more employment opportunities for the disadvantaged of Greater Manchester.
Congratulations to Mike and the team from everyone at Mustard Tree and keep up the good work!