Manchester Growth Company has announced that Donna Edwards has been appointed as Managing Director for Business Support and Business Finance. Donna had been acting as interim Managing Director since June 2016.
MGC works in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver growth and prosperity to the city region, providing the research and analysis to drive policy and delivery, raising Manchester’s profile, attracting investment, helping businesses grow and providing individuals with new skills and employment opportunities.
Donna has over 20 years’ experience of working in the areas of business support and finance, workforce development, international trade, and innovation services across the region, and was the Managing Director of Business Link North West until the Business Link service ended in 2012. Since then, Donna has been working in a senior position at the Trafford based Manufacturing Institute.
Her responsibilities at MGC will encompass oversight of the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub, Business Finance Solutions, inward investment agency MIDAS, and International Trade services. In the year 2015/16, the MGC group helped to generate £414m additional gross value added to the Greater Manchester economy through its business support services, provided over £30m in grants and loans to local businesses, and contributed over £640m to increased domestic and export sales through its advice and trade support.
Donna said: “I’m delighted to be joining such a dynamic and influential organisation as Manchester Growth Company. Among our priorities going forward will be to continue to ensure that Greater Manchester remains at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse agenda as we negotiate the post-referendum landscape. Through our business support services, we will be striving to drive up the productivity of our business base, and working with our local partners, we’ll be working hard to achieve our challenging international ambitions. The scope and scale of MGC’s activity in business support makes us truly unique in the UK.”
Mark Hughes, MGC’s Group Chief Executive said: “MGC is now firmly securing its place as a world-class integrated service provider, and Donna’s appointment will add further strength to our excellent senior management team, and reinforce our position in delivering high quality business support to allow Greater Manchester companies to survive and prosper, locally, nationally, and internationally.”
Sir Richard Leese, GMCA lead for business and internationalisation said: “Donna is a perfect candidate to help drive forward Greater Manchester’s economic development and fulfil MGC’s aim to enable growth, create jobs and improve lives. We look forward to working closely with her as Greater Manchester’s economy progresses.”