Social Enterprise conference to help build new way of working

A showpiece Shropshire conference bringing together social enterprises and private companies has been moved to a new date in the new year – to allow even more businesses to get involved. 

The Spark Social Conference – organised by the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire and Shropshire Council – will show businesses how teaming up with social enterprises can help boost their bottom line. 

The free half-day virtual conference had been due to take place next month but has now been switched to February 17 to ensure as many businesses as possible can take part. 

The event – titled Purpose to Profit – will also encourage the county’s social enterprises to boost their profile with a virtual exhibition and a chance to showcase their work. 

Marches Growth Hub manager Emma Chapman said the event would build on the success of the initial Spark Social Conference in 2019. 

“We’re delighted that the Spark Social Conference is returning after a Covid-enforced break last year, because the feedback from our first event was so positive. In fact, we had such a positive response to our initial plans to stage the event in November that we have decided to move it to the new year so that even more businesses can get involved. 

“The event covers the whole geographic county of Shropshire, including Telford & Wrekin, and will feature presentations and webinars, highlight businesses that are already working profitably with social enterprises and also include a keynote speaker. 

“For social enterprises it will be an unmissable opportunity to network with private sector companies and showcase the amazing work that they are doing all around the county. 

“Shropshire is officially recognised as a Social Enterprise Place because of the strength of the sector in the county and we want this event both to raise the profile of those social enterprises but also show our private sector how they can get involved in raising their own social impact.” 

Mark Barrow, executive director of place at Shropshire Council, said an effective partnership between the private sector and social enterprises could play a huge role in shaping the post-Covid economic landscape. 

“We live in changing times and customers are now more interested than ever before in the provenance of products and services and their potential environmental and social impact. 

“They expect companies to have programmes in place to demonstrate that they are committed to doing social good through their business as well as making a profit. 

“This conference will show businesses how they can take advantage of this emerging business landscape by adding social value to their work and making a significant positive impact on the community.  

“The end result is that not only does the community and the people in it benefit, but the business boosts its own bottom line and profile in the process.” 

If you are interested in exhibiting contact [email protected] to find out more.  

For more details and to register visit  

The event is funded through the Shropshire Council-led ARG Economic Recovery programme. 

The Recovery Programme is a £3.2m series of projects, utilising Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) funding from Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to fund wider business support activities.