Beneficiaries: Openning up the creative industries to young people from poorer communities

CEO: Rose Marley

Location: Manchester 

About Sharp Futures 

SharpFutures is a social enterprise that supports young people into employment in the creative digital sector, by offering a range of services and pathways including apprenticeships, work experience and volunteering. Clients include ITV, BBC and Tiger Aspect as well as tech, digital and animation companies.

Founding Directors Rose Marley and Lee Stanley draw on almost a decade of working to improve the lives and prospects of young people. Having previously run music production businesses from a young age and experiencing first-hand the lack of social mobility in the entertainment and creative industries they were inspired to set up SharpFutures.

Mission and Impact

SharpFutures’s social mission is to improve life chances and social mobility for young people by:

  • the advancement of education in creative digital
  • creating and sustaining careers in the digital sector
  • building capacity and opportunity across the sector from deprived communities
  • opening access to talent from a wide social background
  • producing local economic wealth and growing the creative digital sector in the UK

SharpFutures nurture the transition into work, whilst responding to the fluctuating needs of creative digital business. It seeds ideas through services for education, nurtures the best talent through employment opportunities and real work experience, and grows through the sale of its own business products and services.

It is a Manchester-based social enterprise which specialises in talent development for socially-diverse new entrants through its innovative POD service (which stands for People On Demand). This offers clients the opportunity to bring on board temporary support staff, while also playing a valuable part in young people’s career development. SharpFutures also provides a range of cultural and education services through its DISCOVER programme.

“SharpFutures has a 100% record of getting apprentices into the creative, digital and tech sectors”

SharpFutures is the social enterprise partner for The Sharp Project and Space Studios. The Sharp Project is home to over sixty digital entrepreneurs, creative and tech companies, and Space Studios is a purpose built facility for large scale TV & film production, producing a combined GVA to Greater Manchester of £41m.

SharpFutures has a 100% record of getting apprentices into the creative, digital and tech sectors. 80% of POD members have migrated successfully into the sector and it has inspired 3000 school pupils through its programmes.