For the past year, the Greater Manchester Social Enterprise Advisory Group has worked together with colleagues to create a series of recommendations for how the GMCA can support a thriving social enterprise sector across our region.

We believe a thriving sector is possible if we work together with GMCA and partners such as the Growth Company and local social enterprise networks to take action in the following ways:

Research and Intelligence

  • Map the status of the sector using existing data
  • Establish sector metrics so we can measure the progress of our sector
    Create a ‘thriving social enterprise index’ to measure the economic, social and ethical value of the sector


  • Lobby public partners to report spend with social enterprises
  • Explore appetite for our sector to develop consortia to bid for and deliver larger contracts together
  • Research online sales platforms to ensure they include social enterprises
  • Identify and promote exemplars of public sector/social enterprise partnerships
  • Report on the delivery of social value clauses in publicly procured commissions

Market opportunities and investment

  • Investigate innovative models of social investment and bring together more new partners for innovation
  • Register interest for the Connect Fund (the Foundation for Social Investment) in participating in current Call for Ideas around Flexible Finance in Social Investment

Raising awareness

  • Establish a Greater Manchester social enterprise identity and support uptake to the Social Enterprise UK online director
  • Deliver a Greater Manchester ‘Buy Social’ public campaign with GMCA’s support, in line with Social Enterprise UK’s national campaign in October
  • Recruit Social Enterprise Champions: public sector professionals from each borough who can champion the sector within GMCA and public sector networks
  • Work with GMCA to get invited to key networks, meetings and events to promote public sector partners to ‘Buy Social’ - in collaboration with our Social Enterprise Champions - and encourage GMCA representatives to attend social enterprise meetings and events

We want your views on whether these plans will support you as a Greater Manchester social enterprise, and whether you can support our recommendations for how we can strengthen the social enterprise sector in our region.

Please share your feedback and questions by emailing

The GM (Greater Manchester) Social Enterprise Advisory Group has been set up to advise the Mayor of Greater Manchester, the GM (Greater Manchester) Combined Authority, and the GM Local Enterprise Partnership (opens in a new window) on the delivery of the ambition for social enterprise in Greater Manchester. Specifically we will focus initially on identifying and advising on the actions needed to ‘create the conditions for social enterprises and co-operatives to thrive’ as outlined in the GM Local Industrial Strategy.

The Group's work will include consideration of:

  • Research and intelligence – a clear mapping and understanding of the social enterprise ‘sector’ in Greater Manchester, including its reinvestment of profits into ‘social good’.
  • Raising awareness and profile – for consumers to understand social enterprise, ‘buy social’ and gather collective support from business, universities and the public sector.
  • Influencing public and business sector procurement – to enable more purchasing from organisations which will generate more ‘social value’ including social enterprises and advise on current procurement arrangements.
  • Identification of the market and investment opportunities – linked back to the Local Industrial Strategy, but also looking at other priority issues such as young people in social enterprise, inter-generational support, and so on.

The Group will meet on a quarterly basis and brings together a diverse group of social enterprise leaders, together with The Growth Company, the Co-op Groups and other key business leaders.

Social enterprises wanting to share questions, views and experiences with the group are encouraged to contact them on

Chair of GM Social Enterprise Advisory Group

Rose Marley is a committed social entrepreneur, leader and ambassador for the Creative Digital Sector and Director of SharpFutures Manchester CIC. Rose was the founding COO of The Sharp Project and Space Studios Manchester, creative digital hubs with clients including ITV, BBC and Channel 4.  Rose is also director of Rose Marley Management Ltd delivering creative projects including Manchester Together and Blue Peter’s 60th Anniversary poem.

Featured on the SE100 top female social entrepreneurs and awarded ‘Women in Ethical Business’ from The Times and Tridos bank.


Follow on Twitter: @RoseMarley1

Appointed Social Enterprise Leaders

Anwar is a social entrepreneur, SEUK Honorary Fellow, Co-Founder and highly motivated CEO of Upturn Enterprise Limited. With over 20 years management experience leading teams that make a difference to people, communities and business, Anwar carries extensive academic and professional qualifications. Operationally, he has extensive stakeholder, senior management and project management skills. Anwar is motivated by challenge and the desire to make a difference to people, supporting communities and delivering a commercial social offer to businesses.


Follow on Twitter: @Upturn3

A Partner in The Connectives, Liz is known for transforming creative ideas into realistic deliverable solutions that grow company value and contribute to social changes.

Liz has worked with enterprises to evaluate culture change, assess social and economic impact and ensure that the voice of the person served informs product or service development. She creates enterprise activity that delivers change in communities and delivers highly effective social impact measurement solutions.


Follow on Twitter: @LizBrooksAllen

David has been working in the community for many years, having managed Platt Bridge Community Zone and more recently the Abram Ward Community Co-op.  He has created the Made in Wigan project, a ‘Buy Local’ brand and strategy to support a local wealth building model. 

David is a Founding Trustee of the Wigan Borough Community Partnership, and is registered as a Neighbourhood Plan Champion nationally.


Follow on Twitter: @pbcommzone

Kimberly is the founder and CEO of Visit from the Stork CIC. The organisation gives parents the tools and resources they need to achieve a better quality of life for themselves and their children – through education & awareness campaigns, information and support, and family friendly events.

Kimberly is proud to be one of the founding members of Salford Social Enterprise City – the first in the North West to achieve this status.



Follow on Twitter: @kimmeh_007

Working purposefully and collectively on the root causes of social issues, founder Lauren and the team at Noisy Cricket work to engineer strategic and cross-sector responses to systemic, cultural and personal challenges in our society.

Lauren is co-creating a development programme with 28 social enterprises to foster community, enable collaboration and sustain growth long-term at the Federation’s first cohort of supported ethical enterprises.


Follow on Twitter: @laurencoulman @noisycricketorg

Formerly Director of the Angel Healthy Living Centre, a public health department in Salford providing innovative, community based programmes in some of the area’s most deprived neighbourhoods, in 2010 Scott became Chief Executive of Social adVentures and created one of the country’s first NHS Social Enterprises. Scott has also been supporting the Cabinet Office’s public service mutualisation agenda.

In 2011 Scott was one of the UK’s Top 100 Young Social Entrepreneurs. Scott is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art, Commerce and Manufacturers. He is also chair of a number of leading care social enterprises including, PossAbilities a £16M turnover organisation based in Rochdale, Stockport, Oldham and Trafford and, Global Grooves a NPO arts organisation in Tameside.


Follow on Twitter: @ScottDarraugh

Grace is a Business Studies graduate who worked in the charity sector before leaving to co-found the award winning PR and communications Community Interest Company, Yellow Jigsaw in 2014. Since then, Yellow Jigsaw has worked with dozens of charities, social enterprises and community groups across the North West to rise the profile of their work. Now, Yellow Jigsaw delivers community media projects alongside its PR consultancy: including a news platform created by and for the over 50s on Greater Manchester, and a pop-up TV studio and newsroom aimed at children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Grace is a SSE Fellow, Flourish CIC mentor, member of Wigan social enterprise network and Salford Social Enterprise City network


Follow on Twitter: @Grace0103      

Nile is the founder and CEO of The Blair Project, a disruptive social enterprise that exists to inspire the next generation of high-tech engineers through electric karting, digital manufacturing and  design project based activities. Nile created, developed and secured funding support for an exciting STEM education programme called the ProtoEV Challenge where student/apprenticeship teams aged 15-18 convert used petrol go-karts into fully electric e-karts which they test and race to see which is the fastest and most energy efficient.


Follow on Twitter: @getmemotoring

Hayley has over 25 years’ experience of working in the public, private and third sector supporting individuals and communities. She leads Bolton based social enterprise Starts With You Ltd. As a GM social business leader she is committed to supporting, growing and promoting social enterprise and socially responsible business.

Hayley is a founding member of the Bolton Social Business Collective (SBC), lead partner for Bolton in the Local Access Partnership Bid and Bolton Representative at the GM Social Enterprise Network.


Follow on Twitter: @startswithyou1

George has worked with and for social enterprises in supporting them to define their business models and grow as part of his roles as founder of Manchester Social Entrepreneurs as well as Wayra's Social Enterprise FinTech Accelerator Manager. He is currently the Business Innovation Lead at FutureEverything CIC, building collaborations and facilitating workshops in the arts, industry and academia among which designing and delivering “Innovation Labs” for The University of Manchester and the Doctoral Training Partnership.

George has a diverse background within different industries and a variety of roles ranging from digital marketing, communications and business development to social innovation technology start-ups to product development.


Follow on Twitter: @MCRSocEnt

In the early 1980s Andy moved to Manchester to be part of the City Life Cooperative, selling advertising, writing for and helping produce the bi-weekly What’s On Magazine. He went on to set up the Creative Industries Development Service (CIDS), and then Head of Creative and Digital Industries at NWDA.

Andy set up The White Room in 2007 and skills development CIC, Digital Advantage in 2012. This delivers digital skills to over 100 schools and colleges in the region and has won awards for innovation in its work to support SEND students into employment in the digital economy.


Follow on Twitter: @AndyLovatt6

Jo is co-Founder of Flourish CIC. A peer network and consultancy enterprise supporting women social entrepreneurs to access mentors, business support and investment opportunities.

Jo is also the Founder and Managing Director of Enterprise Stuff Ltd. An agency committed to supporting social ventures (social enterprises, charities, individuals and ethical businesses) with business planning, change management, income generation, research and funding and the establishment of social enterprise trading arms.

In Stockport, Jo is the Strategic Lead of Sector 3, an emerging network of likeminded organisations who are working together to make the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector stronger and more resilient.


Follow on Twitter: @enterpriseltd

Gary has more than 25 years’ experience supporting enterprises to start-up, establish and scale, both in the UK and internationally. As well as providing social investment and enterprise development support at Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation, Gary is also a Business Mentor for the Princes Trust, volunteer at Duke of Edinburgh Award and coach a junior pan-disability football team.

Gary is a member of the following networks:

  • GMCVN Steering
  • Co-op and Community Housing Enabler Hub Steering
  • GM ESF Community Fund Steering
  • Stockport Local Fund Grants Panel
  • Social Investment Forum


Josh is the founder of the award winning social enterprise Stand4 Socks. A global brand that supports homeless and the UN Global Goals through a buy one give one model, with clients including Facebook, PwC and Virgin. Josh recently featured on the BBC Dragons’ Den taming the Dragons with his story of building a global business from starting on benefits. Although Josh suffers from dyslexia, he puts it down as one of his greatest strengths. Josh is a passionate champion for business for good and entrepreneurship in young people.

Josh is also a member of:

  • Social Enterprise UK
  • SSE Alumni
  • Marketing Academy Scholar
  • New Entrepreneurs Foundation Alumni
  • Good Finance Advisor



Follow on Twitter: @Stand4Socks

Sheenagh is a chartered accountant who has more than 30 years’ experience working with a number of charities and social enterprises as volunteer, trustee, employee and now chief executive.

She has been at South Manchester Credit union for 15 years and has been the lead since 2012 during which time the credit union has doubled in membership and assets.
As vice chair of the GM Consortium of 8 community credit unions, she works together with sister credit unions to raise awareness of the strength of their financial services offer.

Sheenagh has a focus on digital innovation and on opportunities for young people in the credit union sector. She enjoys belonging to a member owned co-operative and is convinced that social enterprises are a taste of a better future for everyone.


Follow on Twitter: @SthMcrCUSheen

Co-opted members 

Matt has had a diverse career both as a CEO and a Chief Customer Officer, leading customer functions of real scale.  His remit and expertise have led him to a deep knowledge and understanding in digital product and technology, big data, customer and brand marketing, loyalty and general commercial management.  Matt has been the Chief Customer Officer at Tesco, Saga and now the Co-op where his remit is wider covering, customer facing technology and data, consumer marketing, community and corporate affairs, innovation and membership.  He started his career at Procter and Gamble in brands, and has held various leadership and positions in Omnicom, Saatchi and Saatchi, and HAVAS.  He has a masters in coaching, and is also the non-executive Chairman of UNiDAYS, and chair of the advisory board for the Telegraph Media Group.


Mark was appointed as Group Chief Executive of The Growth Company in 2013. Including the Business Growth Hub, Marketing Manchester, MIDAS, and Business Finance Solutions, the Growth Company drives forward GM’s economic agenda and delivers the Greater Manchester Strategy priorities in relation to employment, skills, business support, inward investment, international marketing, the visitor economy, policy development and research.

Mark formerly Chief Executive of the North West Development Agency, Mark has also held positions with Ernst and Young and DTZ. His Board Directorships have included Central Salford URC, New East Manchester URC and Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus Limited. Mark was awarded an MBE for services to business in the North West in the 2013 New Year’s Honours.


Related Content