This national convention for 300 people will bring together an exciting mix of key decision makers from local authorities, leaders of co-operatives and social enterprises with funders and investors to explore how the social economy can play a much more central role in the economic and community wellbeing of places across the country.

The event is organised by E3M, an initiative that supports leadership and innovation on key issues for social enterprise growth - specifically the three 'M's of market, money and models

Participants will explore key learning and experience about what has worked in different places, and shape a future vision for place-based, co-operative and social enterprise innovation, supporting clear, viable alternatives to the traditional economic models and policies that have failed to serve people and communities in so many parts of the UK.

Drawing on the experience from the growing Community Wealth Building movement, this convention will explore how co-operatives and social enterprises can support inclusive economic growth as part of a wider move to “reset the dial on local economic development”.

The event will have a special focus on collaboration and knowledge sharing about new approaches to local economic development and organising local services based on social sourcing, i.e. public benefit partnerships between co-operatives and/or social enterprises and public authorities.

There will be a mix of plenary sessions, interactive breakout sessions and table discussions, ending with a clear call to action on key things prioritised by those present to move this agenda forward.

The agenda will cover topics including:

  • Working with local public authorities to catalyse change (including the learning from E3M Alchemy, Social Enterprise Places and the “Keep it Local” campaign)
  • Building local co-operative and social enterprise eco-systems
  • Social Sourcing – public benefit partnership approaches to commissioning, the art of the possible in public procurement and real social value
  • Social Investment in place
  • The role of funders/foundations
  • Co-operative and social enterprise innovation in local services
  • Proper stakeholder engagement
  • Models for creating community wealth, including the role of community business and anchor organisations
  • Industrial strategy: developing policy for co-operatives and social enterprises in place

Full programme and speakers to be announced.

The event will be preceded by a drinks reception on 9th December, 18.30-20.00 at the Co-operative Group HQ, Angel Square Manchester.

The event will take place on Tuesday 10th December, 9am-4.15pm

Location: Queen Elizabeth Hall, West St, Oldham, OL1 1NL

Registration link: