A new report has revealed that SharpFutures, the social enterprise based at The Sharp Project in Manchester, has contributed £2.4 million of social value to the local economy since its inception in 2012.
The independent survey carried out by North-West based independent social value experts, First Ark, was commissioned by SharpFutures to mark five years in operation.
The report evidences the considerable impact SharpFutures is making from their home in Newton Heath, Manchester. It’s been calculated that over the past five years the social impact generated by SharpFutures is worth £2.4 million. That equates to every £1 spent with SharpFutures generating a return of nearly £8 in social value. With 65% of apprentices previously long-term unemployed or in low paid and unskilled employment, SharpFutures has also generated a saving of almost half a million pounds (£477,744) to the public purse.
The report also demonstrates that 5,671 young people have had access to new and innovative learning and work opportunities from 119 Greater Manchester schools and youth groups as well as 75 events across the sector which is critical for the success of the creative, digital and tech industries across Manchester. SharpFutures clients include ITV, BBC, Cisco and some of the leading independent games, video, web design and graphic design agencies across Greater Manchester.
Kerry Parker, from Newton Heath, a former SharpFutures apprentice who is now employed by a digital marketing company, commented: “SharpFutures helped me grow in confidence every day, furthering my skills and giving me the opportunity to develop. This helped me get work ready and transition into a full-time role in social media account management.”
This report comes at a time when social enterprise is beginning to make a significant impact in the world of business, with Social Enterprise UK reporting that social enterprise is worth £24 billion to the UK economy.
SharpFutures Founder and CEO Rose Marley said: “Social enterprise is a force to be reckoned with. It is a totally different way of doing business. All profits go back into delivering social impact rather than to individual shareholders. We are really pleased that we are able to quantify the difference the SharpFutures team makes to the young people of Manchester, and the growth of the creative digital sector.”
Kathryn Kelly, the Social Impact Manager from First Ark added: “SharpFutures has demonstrated they are social enterprise leaders in the creative and digital sector in Manchester. They are forward thinking, accountable and making a significant impact by encouraging social mobility in the creative, digital and tech industries. To hear first-hand how SharpFutures has made a difference to so many young lives has been incredibly interesting and shows what is possible with vision and determination to succeed.”
SharpFutures is shortlisted for three Social Enterprise UK national awards which will be announced later this month.
To view the SharpFutures Impact Report by First Ark, please click the button below.