Transforming communities in Manchester and Glasgow: ethical values in social entrepreneurship
Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire Campus, Crewe, hosts ‘inspirational’ TIGERoadshow, attended by social entrepreneurs, small business owners, students and academics
Professor Janet Haddock-Fraser (right), Provost of Manchester Metropolitan Cheshire campus and Professor of Sustainability and Management, welcomed the participants with an introduction to the university and the relevance for Manchester Metropolitan in holding the conference. This was particularly so thanks to its strong social engagement and the university’s impeccable ‘green policy’. Manchester Met is ranked third in the People and Planet University Green League 2015.
Digging deeper into the issue, Ian argued that data drove everything in business although this is not the root of the problem. Instead, it is the behaviour of businesses that needs changing. ‘We, on the frontline, know from experience the problems that all economic groups face, but the top businesses make decisions on what they know about the top four per cent of wealthiest people in the world.’ The Q&A session with Ian threw up an interesting and lively debate, with one particular question standing out from the rest: ‘Are we just dancing around the big circles of power?’
Leadership was a recurring theme during Greg’s speech. ‘Many of the teenagers in inner city areas are looking for some direction and leadership,’ he said. ‘Often in these areas, criminals are the natural leaders and this is what needs to change.’ He explained in depth what he was up against, stating that the media was a big problem with their negative portrayal only deepening problems. ‘We did not label ourselves as deprived; politics and the media did and then the community grew within that image.’ In a bid to combat these problems, Greg selected 17 working class leaders to manage the centre as well as become community leaders. They opened communication lines with all gangs and kids, thus moving from gang culture to social enterprise.
Concluding feedback comments focused on leadership, how to encourage new entrepreneurs and how to move towards ‘ethical entrepreneurship’. ‘TIGERoadshows are thought-provoking events,’ says Nathalie Ormrod (left), Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Business Ethics, who was the Manchester Met event coordinator with Initiatives of Change. ‘Social and ethical entrepreneurship needs to be embedded in contemporary business programmes in order to sustain tomorrow’s businesses with leaders respectful of their stakeholders, communities and environments. It was a pleasure, if not a duty as a business lecturer, to bring this inspirational conference to the campus.’
by Thomas Bradshaw