SharpFutures contributes £2.4 million of “social value” to the local economy

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by Stephen Chapman

The Sharp Project’s social enterprise, SharpFutures, has contributed £2.4m of social value to the local economy since it was founded.

The independent survey carried out by First Ark was commissioned by the organisation to mark its fifth anniversary.

The £2.4m valuation would mean that every £1 spent with SharpFutures generates a return of almost £8 in social value. The report also says that with 65% of apprentices previously being long-term unemployed, or in low paid and unskilled employment, it has also led to a saving of £478k for the public purse.

“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,” said SharpFutures founder and CEO Rose Marley.

The report 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.

“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,” added Kathryn Kelly, social impact manager from First Ark.

“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.”