Celebrating Female Social Entrepreneurs for International Women’s Day 2024

Gabby Hurt – CEO, Hive Huddersfield CIC



Winner – Best Small Social Enterprise, Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber Awards 2023



75% of Hive Huddersfield’s Board are Women





When social entrepreneur, Gabby Hurt got together with a group of community-minded people to see how they could help people navigate lifepost lock down, they knew that the pandemic had changed life for the many people who had previously accessed support through groups, activities and face to face support. The group instinctively knew that a safespace needed to be created in Huddersfield, for those isolated or seeking support.



From here Hive Huddersfield CIC was established;  joining the record-breaking number of 12,000 social enterprises social enterprises set up during the pandemic in 2021.



Hive’s first year presented a number of challenges; from securing suitable premises to renovating the space on a very small budget, to creating a vibrant, inviting community space and cafe. However, after a huge effort from all involved their premises in Huddersfield was converted into a café, training kitchen and community hub.



The Hive Café was opened in November 2021 and is now a busy café and a vibrant community hub in the centre of Huddersfield running employability skills training and volunteering opportunities for adults with additional needs.



As a community interest company, Hive must show a valuable social impact by reinvesting or donating at least 50% of the profits they make to help achieve or create positive social change. In fact, in 2021-22 café sales amounted to 58% of the Hive’s income. 



The Hive is just one of the many cafes or restaurants using the social enterprise model in the Kirklees area, others include Full Circle Community Café, based at Brian Jackson House in Hudderfield, Ruddi’s Café, part of Ruddi’s Retreat and The Handmade Bakery Workers Cooperative, both based in Slaithwaite.



Helen Orlic, Programme Lead for Business For Good West Yorkshire said, “Not-for-profit and community businesses are great for the local economy, creating local jobs and supporting local people, and that includes the many cafes and restaurants run as social enterprises across West Yorkshire. Female social entrepreneurs, like Gabby, run 47% of social enterprises in the UK. ”




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