Printed Date: 28/01/2020

GLL's Mark Sesnan wins social enterprise category at final of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of the Year award

Mark Sesnan, managing director of award-winning charitable social enterprise GLL, scooped the top award in the social enterprise category for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012.

Mark Sesnan, who won the award for being one of the team that founded GLL - an organisation combining social enterprise with strong 'value based' business ethics received that accolade at a special awards dinner which took place on 8th October 2012 at London’s Hilton Park Lane Hotel.

GLL is the pioneering worker-owned, charitable social enterpirse that first took over the operation of Greenwich Council's leisure centres in 1993 as an innovative 'spin out'. In its first year of operation GLL had a turnover of £5m, with 150 employees operating in one one London borough. By 2010, turnover was around £80m and GLL now operates more than 100 public leisure centres across the South of England and York.

GLL also operates all public leisure centres in five Olympic Host boroughs and is a key player in the delivery of the Olympic legacy in London, operating the Copper Box (Multi-use Arena), and Aquatics Centre in legacy mode. The GLL 'model' has been replicated in more than 120 local authorities throughout the United Kingdom.

Comments Sesnan, "I am delighted to receive this award in this very special year for GLL. As a manager, you have to free people to be innovative and creative and by developing staff and growing the business, we can provide more career opportunities for our people and deliver added value services to the community. Staff are in control of making that happen. They have ownership and empowerment.

"Success is all about individual motivation. Our enterprising employees are behind GLL's innovative sports programming leading to this year's contract win to run two permanent Olympic venues – the Aquatics Centre and the Multi-Use Arena - enabling us to further boost employment as well as offering affordable and accessible training and sporting opportunities for all".

As well as winning the contract to deliver world class legacy facilities in two permanent Olympic venues, GLL has also moved into library management and now operates public library services across the borough of Greenwich.

With the aim of providing local jobs as well as delivering good local services, GLL recruits 69% of staff from within a three mile postcode and works with local colleges and schools on training schemes to get youngsters into work.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards programme supports and celebrates entrepreneurs – recognising that entrepreneurship and innovation drives the growth of the economy and plays a major role in job and wealth creation. Across the programme this year’s finalists are responsible for combined annual revenue of £18bn and have grown by 20% in the last year, in the UK and cross border.

2012 is the 14th year that the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards have run in the UK. The awards now cover 93% of the global economy. That's 50 countries and 140 cities and it continues to grow each year.