Bid to boost social enterprises

WIGAN’S social enterprises have been urged to “come out fighting” as they face up to the challenges of tough economic times.

The rallying call comes from organisers of a flagship event which will see hundreds of social enterprises from across the region descend on Bolton next month looking to boost their business.

The Reebok Stadium will host Social Enterprise North West’s In Business For Good trade fair on October 18.

It is the first time the regional event has been held in Greater Manchester.

High-profile guests and speakers will include TV’s The Apprentice finalist Claire Young and leading industry expert Matt Smith, whose experience at the Key Fund has seen more than £7m invested in social enterprise.

Social enterprises play a key role in the local economy and the trade fair is an important annual event – showcasing their work and helping them grow and develop their operations.

The social enterprise sector in the North West generates around £3bn annually to the economy, employs more than 50,000 staff and harnesses the capacity of 30,000 volunteers.

Val Jones, Chief Executive at Social Enterprise North West, said: “In tough economic times, we are encouraging social enterprises to come out fighting and take advantage of all the opportunities that will be available at the trade fair.

“It’s a once-a-year chance to network with colleagues, meet new contacts, share knowledge on current thinking from funders and get inspiration for new business ideas”.

Other high-profile guests from the sector include Peter Holbrook from the sector’s national body Social Enterprise UK and Sarah Flood from the Social Investment Business.

The specialist workshops will be taken by leading industry experts including Matt Smith and Daniel Lindgren from Sweden who runs a franchised social enterprise hotel.

The trade fair runs from 10am to 4pm.

For more details and to book online visit