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Finance, Opportunities, Responsibility & the Circular Economy

Are you looking to improve the environmental impact of your products, create a more profitable business model or increase your competitive advantage?


Led by innovative business specialists, our Eco-FORCE programme will guide you step-by-step towards new commercial opportunities, equipping your SME with the tools to eliminate waste and grow.

Starting in March 2023, these brand new cohort sessions are fully-funded (meaning there’s no fee to pay), and are fine-tuned to the challenges faced by businesses in Greater Manchester.



Take control of your future | How the programme works | What the programme covers |

What you’ll get out of it | A winning approach | Case studies | Contact us


Take control of your future


We’re pretty sure your business is amazing. Chances are, you’ve been forced to overcome all number of obstacles over recent times, including ones that none of us saw coming, and you’re still here. One of the 100,000-plus SMEs that help make Greater Manchester what it is.

What the last few years have really underlined is that the world is changing at a pace not seen before – “unprecedented times” was the overused, but accurate, phrase at the height of Covid. And what’s equally clear is that those businesses who can best respond are the ones most likely to thrive.

With further change coming fast, as net zero deadlines approach and the drive towards the circular economy intensifies, there’s never been a better time to stop and think how your business is going to adapt.

Will you be able to reach new and expanding ‘eco’ markets? What’s the best way to attract new investment? How do you make sure you’re on top of new regulations?

The Eco-FORCE programme has been developed in response to these challenges. It helps SMEs move away from the traditional take-make-waste approach and improve the environmental impact of their products and services, leading to more profitable business models and increasing competitive advantage.

Whether you’re already producing eco goods and services, or are looking to move towards this, we’ll put you in the best position to increase your business opportunities, productivity and profitability.



How the programme works


Don’t you wish you had more time to work on the business, not in the business? To sharpen the saw? Having partnered with SMEs for over 10 years, we recognise how difficult it is to step away from the day-to-day.

That’s why Eco-FORCE runs over a series of three half-day sessions in Manchester city centre, spaced out at fortnightly intervals. Twelve hours in total. It’s a manageable commitment that will reward you many times over.

You’ll be group in a small cohort of around 10 business leaders and there’ll be opportunities to network with peers in the margins around the sessions. Each module is delivered by an experienced eco-innovation specialist from GC Business Growth Hub.

The programme is funded, via ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authority), which means we’re able to offer places at no cost to your business. All we require is your commitment to completing the programme.

Businesses from all sectors are welcome to apply, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. Click on this link – Apply now for the Eco-FORCE programme – or contact us - with any questions.


What the programme covers


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Drive towards the circular economy
  • Eco design
  • Eco legislation and regulation
  • Green finance
  • Green washing
  • Reducing carbon emissions
  • Reducing waste
  • Supply chain and procurement
  • Supply chain pressures
  • Technology enablers

What you’ll get out of it


By the end of the programme, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to enhance the environmental performance and competitiveness of your goods or services, and capitalise on growth opportunities.

You’ll be able to:

  • Understand the environmental and social impacts of products and how to communicate these to your customers to build trust
  • Identify opportunities for product and service innovation to become a more sustainable business
  • Maximise the value of resources to reduce carbon emissions and waste
  • See key eco-themes in supply chain and procurement to boost your competitive advantage
  • Access the right organisations, funding, people, and research partners to make your eco-innovation happen
  • Recognise how circular economy principles can drive profitable business models and increase revenue opportunities
  • Further develop your commercialisation and market entry strategy

A winning approach


Whatever their size, businesses that embrace innovation are more likely to experience improved turnover, productivity and competitiveness than those that don’t.

And we’re proud that our innovation service has provided support to more than 3,000 SMEs across Greater Manchester, helping them to turn business ideas and opportunities into sales.

Within this service, our specialist eco-innovation team exists to enhance the environmental performance and competitiveness of your products and services.

Our experienced eco-innovation advisors offer support that is tailored to your business, removing whatever barriers you’re facing… whether that’s a lack of finance, human resource, specialist know-how, time, technology, strategy or appropriate facilities.

Here are just a couple of the Greater Manchester SMEs we’ve worked with recently:

UBU Environmental UBU Environmental

"We received a great deal of support from our dedicated advisor. This included a full business review and considered aspects such as business planning, intellectual property, environmental impact and areas of business strength and development."

Green Mole Green Mole

“It was great to be able to partner with organisations that already have such great track records of working with industry – not just from the practical side, but also because it adds to the credibility of the product.”


Make sure you don’t get left behind by your competitors – register for Eco-FORCE below, email us at with any questions or visit our homepage to find out about our Innovation Service.