Established in 2005, Substance is a social research company specialising in the youth, sport and positive activities sector. It helps projects and organisations delivering personal, community and social development to improve and demonstrate impact and value.

When we established Substance, we felt that a worker's co-operative was the best way to run a company which placed people, ethical values and accountability at its core. We applied to The Co-operative Enterprise Hub for start-up advice and were very happy with the support Co-operative Mutual Solutions (CMS) gave us during such a critical time.

It was very helpful indeed and gave us the confidence to adopt rule changes. It also gave us clarity on some options for the business.

Substance provides specialist advice to organisations throughout the UK, offering them a range of social research, monitoring and evaluation services.

Its clients range from government departments and councils to local youth organisations and children’s charities. Substance has become a well-respected social enterprise in the North West region, with an annual turnover of almost £2 million.

When the business was starting up, the four founding directors sought the help of The Co-operative Enterprise Hub for advice on how to set up the company as a workers' co-operative.

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