Investment and training programme launched for Stockport entrepreneurs to tackle inequalities

Jo McGrath, director of Sector3 Stockport
Jo McGrath, director of Sector3 Stockport and Stockport Proper Good Programme Lead

An £8.25m investment and support programme will support entrepreneurs to start or grow businesses that tackle inequalities in communities.

The Proper Good programme is offering grant funding, social investment and free-to-access, tailored training and business support to entrepreneurs in four areas of Greater Manchester – Bolton, Oldham, Stockport and Wigan. The support can be at every stage from start-up to scale-up – with a focus on those creating a positive social or environmental impact in their area.

Jo McGrath, Stockport’s Proper Good programme lead, and chief executive of Sector3, said: “We know that business can be used as a force for good in Stockport – and a powerful way to tackle our borough’s inequalities.

“This programme invites people with bright ideas or growing businesses that do good in the community to join the programme. They will get to access free tailored business support and training to help them take the next steps to fulfil their enterprise potential.

“We will be using our experiences as social entrepreneurs to encourage people to think about how their businesses can be ‘social enterprises’ – where they are committed to improving communities – as well as profit margins.”

The five-year programme is being jointly funded by Big Society Capital and Access – The Foundation for Social Investment and Greater Manchester is just one of six regions from across England to take the programme forward.

Two million will go to the local delivery leads who are all experienced social entrepreneurs to develop socially responsible businesses in their boroughs and £6.25m will be distributed by Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) as social investment to help those businesses grow.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, formally launched the programme at a virtual event held for public, private and voluntary sector organisations.

He said: “This programme sums up how we can make Greater Manchester a better place to live for everyone. You can’t look at economic progress in isolation – it has to go hand in hand with social progress, too.

“This programme combines the best of both to empower communities to confront inequalities, poverty and build fairer economies that benefit all residents.

“Cross-sector partnerships are key to place-based regeneration and real levelling up – I look forward to seeing how these partnerships develop thanks to this programme over the next five years.”

Entrepreneurs wanting to find more about the programme can visit