Mayor of GM pledges support for Enterprising Communities Fund at official launch

At the end of January 2024 we held our launch event for the new Enterprising Communities Fund (ECF). It was a brilliant day with a full hall at the St Thomas Centre. 

The event was kicked off by a speech from GM Mayor, Andy Burnham, who spoke about the value of social investment for our communities and his support for the fund. He also spoke about the vital role of credit unions in the Greater Manchester social economy and how important it is that this fund enables people saving with their local credit union to invest in local organisations creating social impact. This means keeping Greater Manchester wealth in the city region and using it for social good.

We were delighted to have Sheenagh Young from the Greater Manchester Credit Union Consortium and Michelle Hill from TLC: Talk, Listen, Change talking about the first investment through the fund. TLC: Talk, Listen, Change were awarded £180,000 from ECF to help set up a new trading subsidiary, Now You’re Talking, which included a £144k loan from Manchester Credit Union. It was inspiring to hear more from Sheenagh about the development of the Consortium and the amazing work credit unions do. Michelle gave an engaging account of the impact social investment has had for their organisation and the ‘step change’ it has enabled for them.

The panel discussion session was full of insights, advice and valuable honesty from Adil Mohammed Javed of Alchemy Arts, Julia Hewer of Signpost Stockport for Carers and Michelle Hill of TLC: Talk, Listen Change. Questions from the audience enabled a particularly useful discussion, drawing light upon the journeys different organisations take to raising social investment and growing their revenue and social impact.

The delicious lunch from Manchester Urban Diggers – one of our investees – received excellent feedback from attendees and it was so nice to have the opportunity to showcase such a great local social enterprise at the event.

The afternoon offered a session on getting investment ready to give organisations more information about how to apply for social investment and what they will need in place to be successful. We also had stalls from Charity Bank, GMCVO, the Greater Manchester Credit Union Consortium and UnLtd so that attendees could find out more about social investment opportunities the wider offer of different social investors.

We’d like to thank those that attended, participated and contributed to such an enjoyable event and of course the funders who have made the Enterprising Communities Fund a reality. The fund is a unique partnership between GMCVO, The Greater Manchester Credit Union Consortium, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Access – The Foundation for Social Investment and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Find out more about the Enterprising Communites Fund

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