Greater Manchester Social Enterprise

Mapping social enterprises and their impact is something we’ve been working on with various partners for a while, specifically finding all of the social enterprises in Salford and Manchester and how we might go about doing that.

We’ve just got some funding together with SEUK and Power to Change to attempt to map every social enterprise (SE) in Greater Manchester (GM) and estimate the number of unincorporated SEs along with some other bits of more important info about what help and support they need.

Should be easy, right? So we’ve also commissioned the GM Social Enterprise Data Trust…

We’ll be using this page to update on what we’ve done so far; our research, results, findings and methods of work and to encourage you to get involved where you can.

If you’re a social enterprise based in Salford please complete this short survey:

If you’re in Manchester please complete this short survey:

If you’re in Stockport please complete this short survey:

Or if you’re in Wigan please complete this short survey:

If you’re based in another part of Greater Manchester please do complete the Salford version or save yourself for next year when we hope to have gathered enough data to ensure funding across GM.

We’re not sure we’re allowed to give prizes (our legal team will check!) but you can add your estimate for the number of social enterprises in GM in the comments below or on Twitter using #GMSocEnt

We’re still redefining our methodology but there are a few things we can be certain of. We have started with the basic government definition of a social enterprise; “a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners” and have deliberately allowed those who complete the survey to self-define as a social enterprise.

There are other criteria such as how much income is generated through trading, how much profit is reinvested, social mission and board members (if you’ve carried on reading this far, we’re pretty sure that you’ll have had many a discussion about ‘definitions of a social enterprise’) but as the saying goes we’re less interested in legal structure and more interested in social mission and impact so we’ll continue to be as loose as we can be with definitions and simply split the data to satisfy funders and others.

For ‘Greater Manchester’ we mean the combined authority area made up of the metropolitan boroughs of Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Salford and Manchester. We’re currently using postcode to define this.

As far as legal form goes we are currently agreed that a social enterprise can have one of the following legal structures:

Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG)

Company Limited by Shares (CLS)

Community Benefit Society – BenCom (IPS)

Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) – Bona Fide/ Bona Fide Co-operative Society

Community Interest Company (CIC)

Sole proprietorship

Limited Liability Partnership

Unincorporated association

If you think there’s something missing (or something included that shouldn’t be) let us know in the comments or by using #GMSocEnt on Twitter – we love conversations about governance and legal structure!

More updates to follow – specifically on what data we’ve used once we have a list of all the ‘copyright’ notices we need to include.

Please do get involved in any way you see fit – complete a survey, send the links to your social entrepreneur friends, tell us what you’d like to see us do differently. Use #GMSocEnt or comment below.

This research is funded by Power to Change, Social Enterprise UK and The Business Group and is supported by Abram Ward Cooperative, Flourish CIC, Manchester Social Entrepreneurs and Salford Social Enterprise City.

Notes for any editors:

Social enterprises are quietly revolutionising our economy and offering a new way to do business by being true to their values, innovating and producing a diverse range of business leaders helping to create an economy that allows future generations to realise their full potential.

We are attempting to identify all incorporated social enterprises within the Greater Manchester region, with a focus on four areas of GM for more detailed information –Manchester, Salford, Stockport and Wigan.

We believe that these areas will provide the best ‘snapshot’ of social enterprise across the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester. We will gather more detailed information from 10% of social enterprises in these localities and an estimate of the number of unincorporated social enterprises.

This research is funded by Power to Change, Social Enterprise UK and The Business Group and is supported by Abram Ward Cooperative, Flourish CIC, Manchester Social Entrepreneurs and Salford Social Enterprise City.

The Greater Manchester State of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector 2017 (Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University) found that there were 15,890 VCSE organisations across Greater Manchester, in Salford there are 1,513 VCSE organisations and 14% of these self-define as a social enterprise (the highest number in GM).

Social Enterprise UK estimate that there are now over 2,400 social enterprises in Greater Manchester investing between £45-90m back into the region every year. There is a widespread view that the social enterprise sector is developing faster in the Greater Manchester region than the rest of the country and as GM’s Local Industrial Strategy states that Greater Manchester (GM) will also create the optimum conditions for social enterprises and cooperatives to thrive there is a real opportunity to better understand the sector, to strengthen local networks and to support policy development.