Kate Welch OBE DL MA FRSA, Chief Executive







Kate is a serial social entrepreneur who is now working full time in Social Enterprise Acumen CIC to achieve the vision of creating enterprising communities in North East England and across the world. She is passionate about creating an ecosystem in which social entrepreneurs and social enterprises can thrive. As well as inspiring social entrepreneurs through her work with Social Enterprise Acumen CIC she is also a Trustee of the Greggs Foundation, a Director of Communities Together Durham, Director/Trustee of ACEVO and a Non-Executive Director of the North East Social Investment Company.

Kate was awarded the OBE in 2008 for services to social enterprise in North East England. Winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion 2016.


Queens Award Kate Welch



Emma Frew, Head of Social Enterprise Development







Emma is a self-motivated, passionate and experienced senior manager, has natural intuition in business management, development and improvement across a variety of sectors (including private, public, construction and charitable nfp). Emma is also an experienced manager of people, process and finance, and a good team player, approachable and understanding whilst still having natural leadership qualities to drive business forward.


Trish Thompson, North East Community Business Club Manager







Trish Thompson Joined Social Enterprise Acumen CIC to run the North East Community Business Club.

Charlotte Glendinning, Administrator

Charlotte Glendinning






Charlotte Glendinning has experience in administrative activities and Sage accounts and facilitates the smooth running of the office.



 Fiona Standfield, Associate

Fiona Standfield






Educated at the Universities of Leeds, Caen and Oxford, Fiona began her career as a fast-track Civil Servant in Whitehall, subsequently teaching Modern Foreign Languages and working in the House of Commons, before joining Royal Mail plc.  Fiona enjoyed a thirteen-year career with Royal Mail plc, undertaking operational, training and management posts both at home and abroad, including Home Shopping Sales Director and culminating in Business Implementation and Delivery Director on a UK-wide IT Programme.

Since returning to the North East, Fiona has developed a portfolio career, which has included her own consultancy practice – providing language services, project management and business development support to SMEs across all three sectors – and interim change leadership roles as Director, Newcastle Science City and North East Programme Director for Safe Families for Children.  She is currently working with Social Enterprises across the region and lecturing at Sunderland and Durham Universities.

A former chair of an NHS Mental Health and Learning Disability Trust, Fiona is also employed by the Ministry of Justice as a Specialist (mental health) Lay Tribunal Member and as a Non-Executive Director of Together for Children – Sunderland.

Fiona enjoys voluntary positions as the North East Institute of Directors Ambassador for Skills, a Trustee of Vindolanda, Chair of Northumberland based theatre company November Club, a member of the Common Purpose North East Advisory Panel, Chair of the North East Advisory Panel for the charity Safe Families for Children, a member of Newcastle University Business School International Advisory Panel and a member of the Local Governing Body of Northumberland College.

Fiona O’Connor, Associate

Fiona OConnor





Fiona is Director of Birkheads Wild CIC, a social enterprise which aims to give disadvantaged young people in this region more opportunities to discover, explore and enjoy being outdoors. Fiona’s background and career comes with a passion for social change and over 20 years experience in the not-for-profit sector in commercially focused roles – including 10 years experience in Fundraising and Development roles, and over 5 years in senior management positions at leadership development charity Common Purpose. She has several years experience working with and for Boards of charities, 10 years experience in non-Exec roles and has become a skilled group and team facilitator known for her ability to grow productive, collaborative working relationships with clients from all sectors. Fiona is also currently a Trustee of COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) the Newcastle-based, international children’s charity working with local communities in remote regions of the developing world which was founded by Olympian Steve Cram CBE (2010- present).

Nancy Radford, Associate

Nancy Radford






As well as being qualified in mediation, coaching and training (work & classroom based), Nancy has 20 years hands on experience setting up and running small businesses. She has 10 years experience in consultancy, resolving conflict and change for private sector, charities and social enterprise. She translates complex ideas into practical strategies enabling people and organisations to be the best they can be and commercially viable without losing their souls.