Social Enterprise Accelerator Programme

An eight-week accelerator programme designed to empower social entrepreneurs across Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside.

This programme, delivered by Mantle, aims to enhance sustainability, diversify income streams, and develop robust business models for your social enterprise.

The accelerator's primary goal is to support social entrepreneurs in building sustainable and resilient businesses.

Social Enterprise UK defines a social enterprise as:

"Social enterprises demonstrate a better way to do business, one that prioritises benefit to people and planet and uses the majority of any profit to further their mission. Social enterprises contribute to reducing economic inequality, improving social justice and to environmental sustainability."


Programme Format

Cohort of 15 social entrepreneurs based in Oldham, Rochdale or Tameside.

Eight half-day sessions once a week, online:

  • September: 23, 30
  • October: 7, 14, 28 (break for half-term on 21) 
  • November: 4, 11, 18


Ideal Candidates

Passionate social entrepreneurs who:

  • Lead social enterprises aiming to create significant social impact. See definition of a social enterprise
  • Are facing challenges such as resource constraints, funding issues, and operational gaps
  • Have a clear vision for growth and positive community impact
  • Are committed to enhancing their technical skills in finance, strategy, marketing, and impact reporting
  • Can commit to attending all eight half-day sessions and participating fully in the programme (dates above)


Application Process

Via an Expression of Interest (EOI) form, reviewed by a selection panel. Shortlisted candidates may be contacted for further information or an interview.

Find the link to apply at the bottom of this page.


Key Dates

17 June

Expression Of Interest Applications open

31 July

Closing date

5 August

Selection panel

23 September

First session


Topics Covered

  1. Problem and Solution
  2. Defining Your Social Impact
  3. Developing Your Theory of Change
  4. Funding Models for Social Enterprises
  5. Refining Your Business Model
  6. Getting Funding
  7. Financial Sustainability and Risk
  8. Organisational Resilience


Target Participants

  • Social entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating social impact and addressing community needs
  • Leaders of social enterprises who are looking to enhance their operational and strategic capabilities
  • Founders and key team members of small-scale, high-impact Community Interest Companies (CICs) or other social enterprise legal models
  • Individuals dedicated to their social enterprise mission but facing challenges such as burnout, limited resources, and insufficient operational staff


Benefits of the Accelerator Programme

  • Develop a clearer understanding of your social impact and how to measure it.
  • Learn effective funding models and strategies to secure financial sustainability.
  • Refine your business model to enhance resilience and scalability.
  • Gain insights from experienced trainers and network with like-minded social entrepreneurs.


Challenges Faced by Ideal Candidates

  • Resource Constraints: Struggling with sustaining operations, strategy, and governance with inadequate resources
  • Funding and Growth: Lack of funding to support growth and insufficient skills and knowledge to access this funding
  • Capacity Building: Limited time, skills, organisational infrastructure, and capacity to deliver on ambitious growth and/or geographical expansion plans
  • Operational Gaps: Gaps in understanding and implementing policies, HR, finance, governance, and other essential operational processes
  • Impact Reporting: Challenges in capturing and reporting social impact effectively
  • Marketing and Communications: Lack of understanding and capacity in marketing and communication strategies
  • Legal and Compliance: Unfamiliarity with legal obligations such as health and safety, GDPR, safeguarding, and other regulatory requirements


Additional Characteristics

  • Vision-Driven: An ambition and a vision for growth and positive community impact.
  • Committed Team: A dedicated founding team with enthusiastic commitment from external stakeholders including customers, delivery channels (e.g., public sector, schools), and corporate supporters.
  • Need for Skills Development: A desire to enhance technical skills in areas such as finance, strategy, marketing, fundraising, and impact reporting.


How to Apply

To submit your Expression of Interest, please complete the form at this link

Your EOI will be reviewed by a selection panel, and shortlisted candidates may be contacted for further information or an interview.

Submission Deadline: 5pm, 31 July 2024

For more information or any questions about the programme, please contact us at