SharpFutures, Manchester’s leading social enterprise set up to seed, nurture and grow talent and skills for the creative digital sector, can today reveal that it has been ranked No.1 for Social Impact in the North West, based on its work developing career opportunities for young people.

Based on information tracked and interpreted by the RBS SE100 Index covering the UK’s top social enterprises, of 18 such organisations operating in Education & Youth in the North West, SharpFutures has been deemed the most successful in terms of delivering Social Impact. As well as taking into account the scale and range of opportunities created and the diversity of clients and revenue streams generated, an important factor in measuring Social Impact was the number of beneficiaries reached, with SharpFutures having involved 1,500 individuals in the last year alone across events including school Creative Digital Experience days, Coder Dojos and Digital Teapot.

Incorporated in 2012, SharpFutures is a creative digital agency that sits at the heart of The Sharp Project and The Space Project, Manchester’s iconic and pioneering homes to digital entrepreneurs, creatives and production companies. As a profit for purpose Community Interest Company, SharpFutures’ goal is to deliver a Social Return on Investment. With the key objective of supporting young people into employment in the creative digital sector, SharpFutures has already been responsible for engaging over 100 young, new entrants over the past year as well as over 350 pupils through events and initiatives.

As well as the quantitative impact delivered, SharpFutures has also had a visible qualitative impact on the creative industries, with SharpFutures Apprentice Tom Rothwell, being Highly Commended in November 2014’s Broadcast TECH Young Talent Awards – a national TV industry awards ceremony held at BAFTA in London.

Identified by the Department for Innovation, Business and Skills’ earlier this year to be included in £16 million of funding allocated to develop skills in the creative industries, SharpFutures is in the process of expanding its Apprentice and Talent Pool intake to up-weight its social impact potential. In 2014 SharpFutures has also identified opportunities with The Space Project, the newly opened TV production facility in West Gorton, to increase young people’s exposure to potential creative and technical career paths in television. The social enterprise also continues to educate and expose school pupils in and around Manchester to new and exciting career opportunities through Creative Digital Experiences held at The Sharp Project.

Commenting on SharpFutures’ Social Impact, Founder and CEO Rose Marley, said:

“Delivering a Social Return on investment as well as a financial return can be incredibly challenging when it comes to reporting on your bottom line, and while running a social enterprise may not be for the feint hearted, the rewards that come with it make it a fantastic sector to be involved in. Which is why we’re really pleased that the RBS SE100 index is working to create national measures in this emerging sector, enabling hard-working teams on the ground at organisations like SharpFutures, to witness over time the impact they are able to make.”