A Bristol-based social enterprise group, which works to transform the lives of young people from ethnic minority and low-income backgrounds, has won The Queen's Award for Enterprise - the UK's highest business accolade - for its outstanding achievement in improving equal opportunity.

Babassa is based in St Pauls and launched in 2013. The not-for-profit enterprise supports young people, predominantly from ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME), by offering free one-to-one support, professional mentoring, skills training and work opportunities.

We launched Babbasa in 2013 with a simple vision to help young people living in disadvantage to realise their career ambitions. It’s an immense honour to be recognised on a national level - a real testament to the commitment of our young people, mentors and employers, as well as the dedication of my team in supporting over 2,200 young lives since our inception.

Poku Osei, Babbasa’s Founder and CEO
Members of the team at Bristol-based Babbasa. Credit: Babbasa

Babbasa has supported more than 2,200 young people, from 67 different cultural groups. You can read more about some of their personal stories here.

The award coincides with the organisation's launch of a new appeal to support vulnerable young people affected by Covid-19.

Before the pandemic, young people from ethnic minority background were known to be 47% more likely to be on zero-hour contracts. Since the lockdown, our research tells us that many have lost their jobs. We also know that over 74% of the young people that we support are experiencing high levels of stress, anxieties and a loss of purpose.

Poku Osei, Babbasa’s Founder and CEO