Past Events

Social Enterprise Action Day 2010

We delivered our first successful Social Enterprise Action Day (SEAD) on 18th November 2010. The high quality learning event attracted a range of new and established social enterprises from the North West.

“The ‘Winning public contracts’ session very good, I was very impressed with content. The facilitator had undertaken some research about my social enterprise prior to the event and found a relevant funding opportunity. This was used as a case study during the session”.
The day was not just about social entrepreneurs’ public sector commissioners also had an opportunity to meet social entrepreneurs and learn from each other. The attendance from the public sector was a key to the success of SEAD as improving relationships with commissioners will become and increasing priority for social enterprises.
Core activities included:

• Training on effective networking by private sector leaders
• 6 practical enterprise growth workshops moving from “Ideas generation” to “Scaling up” run by cross-industry experts
• A toolkit, following the 5 growth themes, explored in the workshops that can be implemented post action day
• A commissioners work-stream focussing on intelligent commissioning
• A social innovation panel – comprising commissioners, social entrepreneurs, private sector and academics. The panel will look at unemployment for 2 deprived neighbourhoods in Manchester with the focus on how social enterprise can deliver the service solution
• A Question and Answer session for Community Interest Companies (CICs) led by the CIC Regulator Sara Bugress

How to win commissions

Founder of the Social Solutions Academy gave a presentation on ‘How to win commissions’ to students from Manchester Business School to advise on the key aspects of developing and supporting social enterprises. The presentation was delivered on Social Enterprise Day, as part of Global Entrepreneurship week 16-20 November 2009.

Action for Social Enterprise 2011

Making it happen for Social Enterprise in the North WestAction for Social Enterprise 2011 is a unique event in the North West Social Enterprise calendar, run for and by social entrepreneurs!

We can help you:

  • Start or grow a sustainable business √
  • Find some funding or resources √
  • Have access to business support √
  • Meet social and business leaders √
  • Influence public sector commissioners and procurement √

Action for Social Enterprise is not a talking shop.
“ .. quite different from other conferences, lots of opportunities to get some real groundwork done.”  – 2010 delegate
You will work hard on your business, learning and doing throughout the event.
“The more you learn the more you earn”

So expect to work on your personal development, your organisation and your contribution to society.
“It was a top quality event. A great opportunity to reflect on my own practice.” MMU – SEAD 2011 Delegate
You will go away from the event with new tools, new perspectives and real actions that you can implement.

Take 5 easy steps…

Step 1 – Participate in growth workshops

With over 14 workshops available over two days, you’ll find more than one to suit your business or personal development needs. Run by cross-industry experts, you will work on examples relevant to your social business. You will be guided to key actions you can implement on your return to make an immediate impact!

• If you’re just thinking about setting up a social enterprise and you want advice on how to choose the right legal structure for your social business.
• If you’re developing your social enterprise and need to understand how to win public sector contracts, how to get investment and attract more customers.
• If you’re growing your social enterprise and want to understand how to grow without compromising your social values and maximise the potential of your people.

Step 2 – By getting top tips from leading social entrepreneurs

one of the foremost UK social entrepreneurs and author (Mawson Partnership) will be our main speaker on Friday 25th November. He established the Bromley-Brow centre 25 years ago. Internationally renowned it is now frequently used by government as a national exemplar for integrated healthcare and the regeneration of communities. Learn what it takes to bring communities together and make a lasting impact.

You will also hear from other social entrepreneurs like…

(CEO) of Big Life Group which includes innovative social enterprises such as The Big Issue in the North, Open Door primary care service and the Kath Locke Centre – the first primary care centre in the country to be run as a social enterprise. She will share her success journeys with you to help inspire and motive you to reach your goals!

Step 3 – Join in and influence the debate on Localism & the ‘Big Society’- creating a practical model for Greater Manchester

a select group of senior executives, leading academics and social entrepreneurs will explore opportunities and trends for social enterprise solutions. If you’re seeking more information on the Localism agenda hear from speakers from IPPR North and Hope Street CIC and others who will provide updates and lead on discussions.

“…it was a thought provoking day that showed me how I could start to work with social enterprises. I also learnt lessons from other commissioners about process which reassured me about my own council’s processes.”

You will also hear case studies on how social entrepreneurs are working with the private and social housing sector at the heart of the ‘Big Society’ across the North West. This seminar style workshop will be interactive and provide public sector commissioners, academics and interested social leaders with practical exercises to explore models that can be developed post event to support social entrepreneurs.

Step 4 – By Pitching In for Investment & Resources

A selected number of social business leaders will be assisted to pitch for investment and specialist skills. If you are looking for finance for your social enterprise or marketing and design expertise don’t miss your opportunity to meet our special panel of investors and public sector commissioners.
Our panel includes a representative from, Viv-id, an award winning creative marketing agency in Manchester, offering two support packages worth over £2K and the Angels Den- the largest network of private investors across Europe and Asia, who are offering access to private capital and expertise.

Step 5 – Intelligent Networking & Exhibitions

There will be plenty of networking opportunities to help you build positive business relationships. We will also arrange lunch dates for delegates seeking people who can make a difference to their social business.
The emphasis is on making personal connections that will help you and your organisation on a one to one basis. Also over 2 days you will have lots of opportunities to check out a range of specialist services available to support your social business from our limited number of exhibitors.

Why should you attend Action for Social Enterprise 2011?

We created a massive impact in our first year, so we expect this year, with our exciting line up of speakers, workshops, business growth opportunities and our emphasis on practical, high quality and intimate learning and a strictly limited number of delegates per day to be a sell-out event. Book now to guarantee your place at this key Social Enterprise event.

Future 100 Networking Event

After delivering a presentation to some budding social entrepreneurs in Manchester,  Founder of the Social Solution s Academy attended the Future 100 networking event held by Striding Out in London.
London is a long way for any Manchester based social entrepreneur to travel for one day, but Vanessa knew it would be worth it. The high profile event provided opportunities to network with the other 99 young social entrepreneurs highlighted on the list www.future100.co.uk. Inspirational stories were shared by some of the award winners, to include a 2008 winner who pointed out how the recognition has helped to build on her success during 2009.

Founder of Striding Out in person and to find out more about the support she will be able to access as one of the Future 100 over the next year. The networking session was well attended and the work of the Social Solutions Academy was showcased to other guests representing the Cabinet Office, Sunlight Development Trust and the Third Sector Coalition.

Gorton Lady meets Lord to build “Big Society”

The event was hosted by the Commission for the New Economy to introduce Lord Wei to a select group of Greater Manchester’s social entrepreneurs and change makers.
Lord Wei is firmly behind social enterprises and sees them as a means to develop leadership within the community, and enable local people to define their own services. He also talked about simplified commissioning with the ultimate long term vision to be a move to citizen based commissioning. Social Solutions Academy is building a reputation as a dynamic social innovation forum and is the embodiment of this “Big Society” concept.
Said of Social Solutions Academy “This is an example of innovative social participation”, he went on to say “We are looking for opportunities to join up existing ideas and enterprises within communities. The Government ultimately wants to enable citizens to take power for themselves.” He also talked about the government’s plans for the Big Bank whereby funds will be released from dormant accounts administered by credit unions and cooperatives, who will work with existing networks to find projects that need to be scaled up.