Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

Advisory Group launched to champion social enterprise in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Combined Authority is calling upon social enterprise leaders to apply to join a new initiative to help drive forward an ambitious agenda for social enterprise throughout the city-region.

The Social Enterprise Advisory Group, made up of social enterprise leaders from across the sector, will advise the Mayor, Greater Manchester Combined Authority leaders, and the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership by identifying and offering recommendations on the actions needed to help the sector thrive.

Rose Marley, the co-founder and CEO of award-winning SharpFutures, which supports young people into employment in the creative digital and technology sectors, will act as interim Chair to lead the establishment of the group for the first 12 months.

A social enterprise is a business or organisation that operates commercially but is dedicated to creating improved social outcomes, often by reinvesting profits into local projects, supporting community initiatives and skills development, or helping care for the environment.

With the variety and diversity of social enterprise evident throughout all 10 local authority areas, the Advisory Group will work to shape growth and development in the sector in alignment with the objectives of the Greater Manchester Strategy and the Local Industrial Strategy.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “As part of our local industrial strategy we are committed to creating the best possible conditions for social enterprises to thrive in our city-region, and this group will be at the forefront of guiding that strategy.

“Social enterprises have a vital role to play in helping Greater Manchester realise its potential through community-focused investment, innovation, and jobs growth, making this one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on, and grow old.”

Sir Richard Leese, Deputy Mayor for Business and Economy, said: “Here in Greater Manchester we recognise that social enterprises sit at the very heart of some of the foundational sectors of our economy, including health, education and training, community development, and sports and leisure services.

“Those thriving sectors like our digital, tech, and creative industries can also benefit from the values embodied in social enterprise, creating good jobs with a positive impact, and this group will be able to drive the agenda for how our region can best support these efforts.”

Cllr Allen Brett, Greater Manchester Combined Authority lead on the Community, Voluntary and Cooperative sectors, said: “Charities, cooperatives, voluntary organisations and other social enterprises have the potential to enrich our communities through the work that they do.

“We want to see those contributions reflected in this new Advisory Group, and we also want to see it take an active lead in creating further opportunities and promoting the diversity and sustainability of the sector.”

Rose Marley said: “We have a rich history of social reform in Greater Manchester, from the Chartists to the Corn Laws and the Suffragettes. There are now more social enterprises than ever before active in our region, and the sector is the fastest-growing in the UK. Social enterprise has the potential to transform our economy and make a positive social impact on our city-region for the long term.”

Social enterprise leaders interested in getting involved in the GM Social Enterprise Advisory Group should contact Anne Lythgoe at to request an Expression of Interest Form. All applications must be submitted by 17:00 on 31 December 2019.

Article Published: 20/11/2019 16:31 PM