10GM - A joint venture to support the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Greater Manchester

Our Business: Supporting the Social Economy Programme

Funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (E26), 10GM is providing support to social economy organisations to deliver an alternative way of doing business in Greater Manchester.

We’re working with Cooperatives UK to support Greater Manchester’s growing social economy. Working with LIOs across GM, we’ll be offering bespoke specialist support to social economy organisations such as cooperatives, social enterprises, community businesses and registered charities. GM’s LIOs have a deep understanding of the complexity of the Greater Manchester social ecosystem and have the specific knowledge and experience needed to support this sector.

What is 10GM’s role?

To lead this work, 10GM will employ a Programme Lead to work alongside LIOs to ensure through good coordination, there should be no “wrong door” to accessing support – people can ask in a number of places and ways and be connected up to what they need. Support will be available to new social economy organisations, social-purpose entrepreneurs, and those operating already but have the potential to grow. Some of the activities we envisage offering in localities are 1-2-1 information advice and guidance; breakfast networking sessions; specialist training courses; and peer mentoring.

What is the Social Economy?

Greater Manchester famously popularised the idea of business for social purposes in 1884 marked by the formation of the first modern-day cooperative. The city region continues to lead the way in social business development.

The social economy is formed by a rich diversity of enterprises and organisations, such as co-operatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises and charities sharing common values and features:


Importance of the individual and the social objective over capital


Voluntary and open membership


Democratic governance


Combination of interests of members/users and/or the general interest


Defence and application of the principles of solidarity and responsibility


Autonomous management and independence from public authorities, though cross-sector collaboration is common


Reinvestment of at least most of the profits to carry out sustainable development objectives, services of interest to members or of general interest

E26 aims to provide a new digital front door to social economy support and to provide specialist support in localities where gaps are identified. In Summer 2024, Cooperatives UK will launch an Online Inclusive Ownership Platform with wrap-around staff support, due to be launched in Summer 2024. 

How can I get involved? 

If you'd like to keep up to date with this work, let us know by getting in touch. 

Page last reviewed: 15 March 2024.

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