This breakout session will explore how councils are using their financial power to create demand which boosts local businesses, redrawing the boundaries of economic development in the process. We’ll hear examples of how local governments are cultivating genuinely inclusive and sustainable local economies by removing barriers to participation, supporting democratic ownership, creating quality jobs and staying within environmentally sustainable limits.
Lauren Bond is a Senior Researcher (West Midlands lead) at CLES. Previously, she worked as the Sandwell Anchor Network Coordinator for CLES, where she was charged with a partnership of Sandwell based institutions. Lauren led this partnership to work on the key areas of procurement and employment to shape the Sandwell economy, which included redirecting hundreds of thousands of pounds of public sector food and drink procurement spend back into the local economy. As a Senior Researcher, Lauren continues to develop CLES’s work in the West Midlands.
Gayle Monk is a Legal Director at Anthony Collins Solicitors where she works with councils and the wider public, private and third-sector clients on their relationships, both contractual or corporate. She advises on public procurement, and the delivery of public services through contracts, joint ventures, or other vehicles. Her focus is on achieving social value and community benefit through public services.
Abdi Hassan is the Founder of Coffee Afrik which turns underused community spaces across London into environments for youth to do activities and express themselves. Since it was founded in 2018, Coffee Afrik has made community development its top priority. Abdi is a trained Accountant who focuses his time developing social enterprises and supporting marginalized communities to find solutions to impact change in their own lives. Abdi currently sits on the NHS England Mental Health London wide transformation board and his education includes a degree from the London School of Economics.
Charles Rapson is the Social Economy Strategic Lead for the West Midlands, employed by WMCA and co-funded by Power to Change to oversee implementation of the four strands of the social economy growth strategy, including social economy clusters. He is experienced in social enterprise and set up and ran Social Entrepreneurs in the East and West Midlands for more than nine years, where he helped individuals create sustainable and purpose driven businesses.