Participants at GMCVO's Access and Connect Resource Fair for social enterprises, April 2016


The network’s role:

  • Connecting SEs, their supporters and customers
  • Mapping the eco-system of support for SE across GM and looking at how to help it grow and make it more consistent
  • Building support, connections and services for the GM SE movement
  • Signposting on to local or specialist networks and activities
  • Celebrating and shouting about the social economy and its benefits, and raising its profile
  • Encouraging intra-trading (between SEs) and trading with other sectors

Principles of the network:

That this network is useful to SEs in GM: Promoting existing networks and ways of accessing support and resources; Providing support only where relevant networks do not exist. The GMSEN will always publicise and signpost to existing networks first.

Who is the GMSEN aimed at?

Medium sized SEs who are looking to expand or smaller SEs with ambitions to grow. We know very small SEs focus their work at their community or neighbourhood level. But our resources and information should be useful to SEs of all sizes and we will look to large, thriving SEs to provide opportunities, support and resources to other SEs in the City Region. The involvement of all, whether private sector, educational institutions or public sector, will be welcome.



The website:

We want this website to be a central point for celebrating social enterprise (SE), linking them up with local and thematic networks, support, new opportunities and with each other.

A key feature is the SE directory with an interactive map where you can share what you do and link up with others. This means SEs can be identified by other SEs and by potential customers – whether individual members of the public or large institutions and private companies. We are building this directory SE by SE - sign up!

We’re also including current SE news, case studies and updates along with sources of support, finance and funding. We will soon be adding a calendar function, so that events across Greater Manchester can be shared easily. What else should be on the website? Let us know! 


Developing the GMSEN:

Chris Dabbs, of Unlimited Potential, has been invited to fulfil the role of interim chair, bringing his significant enthusiasm, commitment and knowledge. The next step will be the appointment of a small group to guide the development of the network.


GMCVO’s involvement:

GMCVO understands social enterprises come in all shapes and sizes. A vibrant ecosystem for social enterprise means investing in its development. GMCVO wants to support that, alongside other key components such as the growing social investment market. We have an interest in a GMSEN led by its participants; playing our part, not controlling what happens next.