Salford – a hot spot for social enterprise activity – has been selected for a programme to encourage business to buy local with organisations that are doing good across Greater Manchester.
The £20,000 Buy Social Regional Programme grant will enable Salford– the first social enterprise city in the North West – to support social enterprises across all 10 boroughs.
The funding, from the People’s Postcode Lottery, aims to engage more than 100 social enterprises in the first year of the programme, getting at least three major local buyers committed to buying goods and services from social enterprise suppliers.
There will be a minimum of two training sessions for institutions in Greater Manchester to encourage them to use their spend with social enterprises and ‘meet the buyer’ events will be held to enable social enterprises to connect with organisations they can do business with.
Social enterprises in these areas will also be given the chance to be part of the new Buy Social Directory – a database of social enterprise suppliers which is used by companies and consumers alike to find social enterprises they can buy from.
Alison Page, Chief Executive of Salford CVS and lead partner on the bid, said: “As the first Social Enterprise City in the North West of England recognised by Social Enterprise UK, we are proud to have attracted this investment to boost our social economy in the city and beyond.
“Social enterprises are growing across the region, with approximately 300 in Salford and 2,400 across Greater Manchester investing between £45-90 million back into the region every year. Salford is only one of four areas to be chosen for this funding across the whole country, so this is a really big opportunity for Greater Manchester to take the lead.
“Doing business and doing good are not often seen in the same sentence, but social enterprises do this every day as trading enables them to make a positive difference to the communities they serve.
“This project will help our region’s social enterprises to grow and thrive as businesses – and in turn enable them to provide more support in their communities.”
Social Enterprises are businesses set up to trade for a purpose and which re-invest the majority of their profits back into doing more good.
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, which is running the Buy Social Programme, added: “Social enterprises are at the centre of their communities. Across Greater Manchester, they are taking on some of the biggest issues; from homelessness to the climate emergency and are helping create jobs and opportunities for people throughout the region. They are transforming the places they work but often need help accessing markets.
“The Buy Social Regional Programme will support social enterprises in Greater Manchester to win more customers and, in doing so, increase their impact.”
Joe Ray, People’s Postcode Lottery’s Social Investment & Innovation Advisor commented: “I am really pleased that funding raised by our players is supporting the Buy Social Regional Programme through the Postcode Innovation Trust’s Social Enterprise Support Programme. Our goal is to support social enterprises to innovate and develop solutions to the big challenges that face society. We know social enterprises are working hard to meet these challenges but often need help accessing new markets and building the connections to help them flourish. This programme will bring them together with key buyers in their local area, growing the social enterprise eco-system and placing social enterprise at the heart of local economic development.”