Three of the Dragons, Dr Alan Southern, Heseltine Institute with Rosie Jolly, Social Enterprise Netw

£250k Up for grabs at Northern Enterprise 2016

Dragons SEN has invited social entrepreneurs from across the north of England, some of whom have UK wide operations, to pitch for a share of a £250,000 investment pot this week, on October 13 at Northern Enterprise 2016 conference and exhibition.

Dragons SEN will form part of Northern Enterprise 2016, the one-day conference, exhibition and awards ceremony held in Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse, giving six social entrepreneurs the chance to put forward a business idea to serious investors and gain real investment for their business.

Northern Enterprise 2016 will address the role of social value in shaping the Northern Powerhouse agenda and Dragons SEN is a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style funding panel of leading investors, set up by Social Enterprise Network.

The six finalist’s who will pitch to the dragons live at the conference have been shortlisted from a group of 20 applicants, if they impress, they will receive an in principle investment offer, subject to further due diligence checks.

The Dragon’s include Simon Torrington of Charity Bank, Tony Cahill of First Ark Group, Eric Munroe at RBS Social Capital and Kevin Lloyd Evans of Big Issue Invest. Joining them will be independent Dragon’s Paul Halfpenny of Northern Social Investment Group and Dr Alan Southern of The Heseltine Institute University of Liverpool.

Rosie Jolly, CEO of Social Enterprise Network, said:

“The level of applicants has been of an incredibly high standard, with some really strong business plans and ideas being put forward. The final six have been selected following pre due diligence and all in with the chance of securing investment for their social business.

“Northern Enterprise 2016 is a platform for investment into businesses that have a social impact, which will play a leading role in growth and development of the social economy. Alongside Dragon’s SEN, we welcome individuals and businesses to join in to see what opportunities are available to them, leading funders will be on hand to chat in the investors hub.

“We would like to wish all six finalists the very best of luck with the pitching stage and are excited to watch the drama unfold at Dragon’s SEN. “

Kevin Lloyd-Evans, Big Issue Invest, said:

“Overall the quality of the applications reviewed was very strong with the finalist showing clear potential for investment. I am looking forward to the pitches and learning more about the social impact created by the organisations.”

Dragons SEN finalists include:

Ariel Trust, Liverpool - Educational Charity set up in 1982 to improve the life chances of young people and give them a greater understanding of and access to Media from which they feel alienated.

We Make Places, Liverpool – CIC help communities of interest and locality to develop sustainable projects.

Trinity House, UK wide – Charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers.

DigiBete, UK wide - Video resources to help people and families manage type 1 diabetes, parents of a toddler with the condition.

CEDE Foundation, Manchester - CEDE Foundation is a catalyst for overcoming poverty by empowering people and developing sustainable communities to make positive changes to people at the margins of society.

Rare Trust, Liverpool - Performing arts school, a registered charity enabling students who successfully gain a place on audition, to train regardless of their personal circumstances or financial background.

Tony Cahill, executive director, First Ark Group, said:

“Dragons SEN is a unique platform for social entrepreneurs to gain investment, propelling them onto a level playing field with other sectors and becoming wealth generators within the social economy.

“First Ark Group is a passionate believer in social investment, with experience in supporting business and communities and sees Northern Enterprise 2016 as an opportunity to be at the forefront of the social economy revolution, within the Northern Enterprise agenda.”

Delegates can sign up to a series of master-classes with a twist, fans of silent discos will love this new concept in business seminars, as they can join 40 other people with headphones in a social business rave.

Individual’s interested in funding will find ample opportunity to speak with investors in the Investment Hub and those interested in hearing about innovative technological and social solutions can visit the Innovators Hub.

Following on from the conference and exhibition will be the Northern Enterprise 2016 Awards, which recognise the achievements of those individuals and businesses that are shining beacons of social value best practice.

A range of ticket packages can be purchased here:



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