At School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) North West, we know that we can’t fix issues like poverty, climate change and ill-health alone. That’s why we exist.

We help people develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to tackle society’s biggest problems and deliver programmes that equip people to start, scale and strengthen organisations that make a positive difference. We’re part of a network of schools across the UK, Canada and India that supports more than 1,000 people a year. Together, we’re changing lives and transforming communities. All of our work is based on some key principles.

Help shift power to people in the poorest communities.

Inequality is ripping the fabric of our society. Too many people are stranded by poverty. We believe they have the right to build brighter futures for themselves. We help individuals realise they can lead social change. That gives people from the poorest areas the power to transform their communities.

Equip people to tackle problems that have personally affected them.

If you or someone close to you has been affected by a problem, you’re more likely to understand the problem’s complexities. That’s why we support people who are ready to take on the injustices they have faced. With us they learn the skills to overcome barriers, so they can help others.

Back people who want to improve their local area.

You know what’s happening in your local area. So why entrust all decision- making for its future to people who live far away from it? We back people with ideas for improving their local communities, because they have the understanding and commitment to make change stick. We practice what we preach. SSE is a network of schools, each rooted in its local area.

Connect people from different walks of life, to create change together.

We invite the unusual suspects to the table. We pride ourselves on bringing together people from different walks of life. Individuals develop the networks they need to succeed and deepen their understanding of social and environmental problems.

Don’t pretend that all social enterprises can be as profitable as other businesses.

We need to explode the myth that all social enterprises can make all the money they need from sales. We believe that grants can provide a much-needed helping hand for social enterprises. We also think that income from sales and trading is more reliable than traditional grant, in the long-term. So we developed Match Trading grants. They incentivise trading, with the support of grant-funding. We help social enterprises develop the right mix of income for their circumstances, so they have the best chance of thriving.

Work with others to accelerate change.

We know that social entrepreneurs can’t transform society alone. We all have a responsibility to create a fairer world. That’s why we work with private companies, public-sector organisations and other charities.

Big businesses will only survive long-term if they benefit the communities they operate in. Corporates have the scale to create widespread change, and the talent to help our students thrive. Corporates deepen their understanding of social business by partnering with us.

Public sector organisations can bring about change by using their spending power for good, and innovating in how they provide services.  We connect them to opportunities and help them act entrepreneurially.

The voluntary and community sector is fundamental to social progress, but many charities face critical challenges. We help them develop the entrepreneurial skills they need to navigate shifting landscapes.

To find out more about SSE North West and the support we provide visit us at or follow us on Twitter @SSENorthWest.