Collaborating for social change – recent events overview

We recently partnered with Cambio and Flourish CIC to organise a series of successful events in Manchester, which brought together a vibrant community of individuals and organisations committed to extending the reach, embedding best practice in, and amplifying the impact of social enterprises.

The events, supported by the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, featured prominent figures from across the social enterprise sector, who shared their insights and emphasised the significant role played by social enterprises in sustainable civic engagement and the pursuit of equitable growth.

Photo of a room full of people watching a person speaking at the front of the roomThe first event was an invite-only roundtable event promoting collaboration across social enterprise provision for Higher Education Institutions.

The conference invited key leaders from the Civic Universities network and keynote speakers included Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility at The University of Manchester and Professor Sharon Handley, Pro Vice Chancellor for Culture and Community at Manchester Metropolitan University.

This event was followed by an evening networking reception with keynote speaker Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, and a showcase of local social enterprises, including Met Much, Tales to Inspire, Equal Education Chances, and All Ears CIC.







The final event was our ‘Beyond Better Business’ annual conference, which looked at the future of business and how alternative economic models, which prioritise the wellbeing of people and planet over private gain, can enable businesses to make a real difference to the communities in which they are based. Guest speakers included Erinch Sahan from Doughnut Economics Action Lab, Charlotte Timson from Transform Trade, and Chris Cowcher from Plunkett Foundation.

Photo of a panel of speakers sat on high stools in front of three pop-up bannersPhoto of people sat at tables in a glass atrium building








Our SEEChange partner Peter Ptashko FRSA, CEO of Cambio, expressed his gratitude to all those involved in the events, stating, “These fantastic events brought together the community in Greater Manchester to extend reach, embed practice and amplify impact in civic social enterprise. A big thank you to Andy Burnham and both the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University for catalysing that impact, as we continue to build towards a more sustainable, place-based future for business and society”.

Our Managing Director Lucy Findlay, highlighted the main event takeaways, saying, “Social enterprises can provide THE model for sustainable civic engagement and leveling up due to their combined financial and social value/impact approach, reinvesting in their communities rather than extracting for shareholders.

Without social enterprises, there is a risk of an inconsistent approach to supporting communities as funding waxes and wanes. Manchester is ahead of much of England due to better partnership working, thriving grassroots entrepreneurship, and support for social enterprise at a policy level by Mayor Andy Burnham.” 

Nickala Torkington, Co-Founder and Director of Flourish Together CIC added, “It was fantastic to bring the Social Enterprise Mark CIC conference to Manchester this year as well as shine a light on what our Universities and wider social economy are innovating and achieving. As well as showcasing local talent and discussing key turning points and solutions for our region, in benefiting people and planet,  it was great to learn from colleagues across the UK and nationally thanks to the networks and audience the event attracted.”

To keep up to date with future events, please join our newsletter mailing list.

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