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Seven more start-ups to join The Federation’s social entrepreneur hub

Thursday 10 January 2019

The Federation, Manchester

Emerging social enterprises that train homeless people to become tour guides, support food banks and teach digital skills to disadvantaged young people will join an innovative tech and social entrepreneur hub in Manchester city centre this month.

A total of seven organisations have been supported to move into co-working space at The Federation, near Shudehill. The Federation was built with the purpose to manifest positive change and collectively cultivate an ethical, equitable and inclusive digital and social landscape for all.

In addition to up to four free desk spaces each for the next 12 months, the new residents will also benefit from building relationships with other local teams committed to using technology and innovation to create positive change in communities.

Support is provided by The Federation and ourselves at the Co-op Foundation, thanks to a grant from Luminate, part of The Omidyar Group. New residents include:

  • Bounceback Food CIC: Fights food poverty by teaching people how to cook and donating to foodbanks.
  • COIN (Cohesion and Integration Network): A national professional network of individuals and organisations that will champion integration and cohesion locally, nationally and internationally, especially via a digital platform.
  • Digital Advantage CIC: Provides industry-led digital training and work experience to young people in Greater Manchester and beyond. They have a dedicated programme for special educational needs and disability schools and students in Greater Manchester, linking talented students with progressive employers in the region.
  • Fluidkeys: Builds software to help developers, journalists and activists protect sensitive information with simple, strong encryption.
  • Invisible Manchester: Works with people who have been affected by homelessness and trains them to become walking tour guides.
  • Noisy Cricket: Builds people-powered movements to achieve social impact, through bringing diverse groups – including businesses, charities and the public sector – together with impacted people to develop and deliver innovative solutions for equality.
  • PIE (Pursuing Individual Excellence): Supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their communication and digital skills through coaching sessions and workshops.

Matt Atkinson, Chief Membership Officer at the Co-op, said:

“The Co-op is centred around people coming together to create shared value, which benefits themselves and the wider community. This fantastic initiative is modern day co-operation in action, where all the participants can actively contribute towards increasing the digital and social impact arising out of Federation in an unrivalled and truly distinctive manner.”

Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said:

“The Federation’s social entrepreneur hub is bringing together some of Manchester’s most exciting start-ups and emerging social enterprises and helping them share ideas and support each other to grow. We’re delighted to welcome seven more teams into the Federation’s innovative work space and we look forward to seeing the impact that a stable place to work and peer support will have in the coming months.”

Andrew Clarke, Principal at Luminate, said:

“We’re pleased to support The Federation and Co-op Foundation in bringing this diverse set of social enterprises to the co-working space. Each has unique skill sets and experiences but share aspirations for social impact and empowerment.  Luminate has invested in this initiative to provide innovative entrepreneurs with a space to operate in, complemented with crucial support services and advice so that they can build capacity, learn from each other, and ultimately be more successful.”

New residents at The Federation will join existing organisations already making use of the funded co-working space including video producers FreshRB; Hive Learning, which supports young people to work in digital; and Foodinate, which partners with restaurants to fund meals for local people in need.

In addition to up to four free desk spaces each, residents also have access to free meeting rooms, the opportunity to put on their own events as part of The Federation’s specialist event series, and support to help reach their growth, sustainability, social impact and digital innovation aims.

Find out if your social enterprise is also eligible for support.

The Federation is an ecosystem built on ethical values as part of The Co-op. It houses a community of digital businesses and innovators ​in Manchester, working towards cultivating an equitable social and digital landscape.

Luminate is a global philanthropic organisation focused on empowering people and institutions to work together to build just and fair societies.


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