MANUFACTURING will help pull Manchester’s economy into growth in 2011, according to Professor Lynn Martin of Manchester Metropolitan University's business school.
And she believes co-operatives and social enterprises will grow to fill the space left by cuts in the public sector.
Interviewed by the Manchester Evening News, the professor of business entrepreneurship said: "Manufacturing in our region is actually at one of the strongest points it has been over the last 10 years.
"The second thing is that what I am seeing are different forms of business, particular in areas like energy and the low-carbon sector, such as co-operatives, consultancies and social enterprises.
"That is really interesting and something that has been emerging over the last three years. With the disappearance of some of the public sector, these organisations become much more obvious, for example those working in the health sector.
"They will be delivering services that used to be the province of public sector organisations and often it is people from the public sector who start them up, and that shows that for every problem, there is an opportunity for someone else.
"We were the home of the industrial revolution and the home of the co-operative movement so it would be quite nice if we were at the heart of their re-emergence.
"Obviously, nobody is saying it is going to be easy, but there are enough core strengths here that people can tap into."
Experts at Greater Manchester’s Commission for the New Economy and Chamber of Commerce tipped media, manufacturing and start-ups to be the sectors set to see most growth in Greater Manchester in 2011.
But they also predict it will remain tough going, especially in parts of the retail and property sectors, as households come under increased pressure due to rising interest rates.
Baron Frankal, director of economic strategy at Greater Manchester's Commission for the New Economy, said: "It’s not all grim though, as Greater Manchester strengths like environmental consultancy, biomedical research, healthcare and advanced manufacturing look set for recovery and growth.
"Manchester has more creative businesses than all other Northern cities put together and is second in the UK in financial services, which, despite its bogeyman status, remains a central driver of our economy."