Manchester Metropolitan University

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Manchester's got business talent!

Songwriting group win prize place

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BUSINESS guru Martin Kirby declared Manchester’s Got Talent when he awarded a place on the regional flagship business leadership course LEAD to a group of local songwriters.

Martin, who is regionally responsible for the UK’s 7th largest accountancy and financial advisory practice RSM Tenon, was judging a business leadership competition for MMU Business School.

And his vote went to the Northern Song Collective, a co-operative of Manchester writers and artists bidding to break into the multi-million pound music industry.

"It’s quite a quirky choice," admits Martin. "Rather than just play gigs and send songs to producers, these guys have shown real enterprise. They set up a collective business to create a web magazine; a music channel and so on to promote themselves.

"I like this. It is entrepreneurial, they have a clear picture of what they are trying to achieve, and demonstrate real ambition!"

Interactive listening

Jimmy Docherty, from the collective says the website will act as a monthly magazine where labels, publishers and artists can listen to the Collective's songs from that given month. The site will be fully interactive and will allow site-visitors to vote for their favourite tracks by using song-counters.

"We already have the help and backing from Ronan Keating's manager Mark Plunkett, also the MD of Ronan's publishers, Stuart Hornall, as well as Sean Divine, vice-president of ASCAP.

"All we need now is the right inspiration and support to kick-off," he says.

The MMU competition challenged local businesses with less than 20 employees to win a £2,000 sponsorship package plus a place on the School’ s prestigious leadership development programme, called LEAD.

10-month journey

The LEAD programme is a 10-month practical leadership journey focused on growing businesses by building leadership talent.

Kate Goodman, Reserve Wines, a current LEAD delegate says: "Meeting other business owners, once every couple of weeks, means we can really talk and go through issues to solve in our business.

"I get great feedback from people who are in the same situation, who understand. For me LEAD has been really, really powerful and I am really, really enjoying it. I am developing personally as well as on a business level, which has been a great process."

IMAGE: Singer-songwriter Jimmy Docherty is flanked by martin Kirby and Dr Clare Schofield, of MMU Business School.


The LEAD programme, supported by NWDA, “meets entrepreneurs in their world to work on their issues and to create the space they need to leap into the future. LEAD is delivered by 13 providers across the North West. More information can be found at

The Centre for Enterprise leads on the creation and transfer of knowledge to develop enterprise and entrepreneurship capability. It improves the environment for entrepreneurship and the competitiveness of individuals and firms through a leading edge portfolio of research and enterprise programmes.


Jimmy Docherty, NSC on 07909 835259
Paula Turner at MMU Business School, Centre for Enterprise on 07817 629907

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