Harris, who was selected from more than 1,000 entries across the UK, won the award for social and environmental ventures that combine the principles of a successful business with an emphasis on social and community benefits.
“This award is not only an honour for Blue Ventures, but more importantly it shows that environmental conservation can make for good business,” Harris said. “I hope this award will encourage more businesses to participate in the conservation of our natural resources and other socially-minded activities.”
Harris in 2003 co-founded Blue Ventures which brings paying volunteers to Madagascar and trains them in scientific research, community outreach and on-the-ground conservation. All revenue raised through the expeditions is channelled directly back into the conservation of threatened coral reefs and other marine resources that local communities rely upon for survival.
Chancellor Gordon Brown Chancellor greeted the winners and handed out the awards during yesterday’s ceremonies that were part of Enterprise Week, a national celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit.
Along with the Highly Commended award, Harris and Blue Ventures have been featured in a new film that will be shown across the UK highlighting social entrepreneurship. The film, which will debut on Downing Street on Thursday 16 November, is part of the Government’s new Social Enterprise Action Plan. That plan sets out the next chapter in the Government’s continuing support for social enterprises, helping to create the conditions to enable them to thrive.