Auticon won the ‘One to Watch’ category at the UK Social Enterprise Awards, held on November 23rd at the Royal Horticultural Halls in central London.
The awards, organised by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), recognise remarkable achievements by social enterprises. At this years’ ceremony, Auticon was rewarded for its future vision – creating a bridge between the talent of autistic adults and the IT skills shortage, raising awareness of autism-specific strengths as well as increasing neurodiversity in the workplace.
We are very honoured and grateful for the recognition of our work, which would not have been possible without the exceptional work of our IT consultants, investments from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation as well as the support from our blue chip clients, including Experian, GlaxoSmithKline, Virgin Money, Allianz, Channel 4 and Network Rail.
Ray Coyle, Auticon UK CEO, said:
“This award is a reflection of the talents of our consultants at Auticon, and recognises the incredible commercial and social value of employing a neurodiverse team.
Unemployment among autistic adults is a major issue in the UK. This year we are proud to have taken steps to address this problem, and hope to offer sustainable, long term employment to many more autistic individuals as we continue to grow.”
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said:
“The UK Social Enterprise Awards are a real testament to the dynamism and diversity of the UK social enterprise sector. This year’s winners have included a social enterprise employing IT consultants who bring together the unique talents of people living with autism, coffee carts transforming the lives of those without a home, a film company opening up the creative industries to young people and even a social enterprise dental service working in some of the UK’s most challenging neighbourhoods.
Social enterprises are continuing to prove that they’re a force to be reckoned with, they’re creating solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face and showing how business can and should be done.”
Auticon is an IT and compliance consulting business and the first enterprise to exclusively employ adults on the autism spectrum as IT consultants. It was founded in Berlin in November 2011 with investment from the Munich and London-based Ananda Social Venture Fund.
Auticon appointed Kurt Schöffer as CEO in 2013 to grow and expand the social enterprise. An international entrepreneur in the IT, energy and media sectors, Kurt was also an original investor in Auticon. In spring 2016, Auticon launched offices in London, UK and Paris, France. Ray Coyle was appointed as UK CEO at Auticon in August 2016, and is leading the company’s expansion in the UK.
Autistic adults often have extraordinary cognitive abilities, such as logic, pattern recognition, precision, sustained concentration, and an ability to intuitively spot errors; yet many find it difficult to secure or maintain mainstream employment. Auticon taps into this potential and produces a win-win-win situation for clients, autistic consultants, as well as society.
Auticon employs more than 100 IT consultants on the autism spectrum in the UK, Germany and France, and is the first social enterprise to scale this model across Europe.
About Social Enterprise UK
Together with our members we are the voice for social enterprise in the UK. We build markets, undertake research, provide information and tools, share knowledge, raise awareness and campaign to create a business environment where social enterprises thrive. Our members range from local grass-roots organisations to multi-million-pound businesses.
About Social Enterprises
Social enterprises are businesses which reinvest or donate over half their profits to meet a social or environmental mission. They are a key part of the UK economy contributing £24 billion and employing nearly a million people. Estimates are there are between 70,000 and 80,000 in the UK. The latest research shows they are outperforming traditional businesses when it comes to start-up rates, turnover growth and innovation. They are also ahead of the pack when it comes to workforce diversity and pay. For more information and statistics see Social Enterprise UK’s State of Social Enterprise Report – The Future of Business, featuring a case study on Auticon – https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/the-future-of-business-state-of-social-enterprise-survey-2017