Kate Welch OBE DL MA FRSA,

Chief Executive

A passionate and inspiring social entrepreneur, Kate is committed to creating an ecosystem in which social entrepreneurs and social enterprises can thrive in North East England and across the world. Kate is an active trainer, facilitator and mentor to social enterprises. She is a contributor to UK Government Departments and Cabinet Office on Social Enterprise policy and a Social Enterprise speaker at International, National and Regional level at social enterprise and regeneration conferences. As well as inspiring social entrepreneurs through her work with Social Enterprise Acumen CIC Kate is also a Director of Capability North East, Trustee of ACEVO and a Non-Executive Director of the North East Social Investment Company.

Kate was awarded an OBE in the 2008 New Year Honours for services to social enterprise in North East England and was presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2016.


Carol Kerr MA MSc

An effective and highly motivated business leader with considerable enterprise and business development experience across the social enterprise, charity, public and private sectors, Carol is an experienced Coach working with new and existing social enterprises to support business formation and growth. With extensive knowledge of strategic, operational, and financial planning, delivery experience, and performance management expertise, Carol helps social enterprises to focus and build upon their strengths to increase sales and improve their social impact.

Prince2 qualified, Carol is also our in-house project manager, who plans, designs, and schedules our consultancy projects. Carol has been a Charity Trustee, Social Enterprise Director and Committee Member of Assist Women’s Network operating in the Tees Valley.


Victoria Burnip BA Hons, Prof Dip MCIM

An ambitious and values-driven leader who is passionate about working in the voluntary and social enterprise sector to improve the lives of others. With three years at the helm and eight years’ experience in strategic planning, business development, income generation, marketing and finances, performance management of large contracts and change management in extremely challenging circumstances to deliver efficiencies and drive sustainability and growth. Victoria was awarded Charity and Social Enterprise Leader for the UK at the Forward Ladies National Awards and Summit in November 2019 and was invited to attend the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018 on behalf of The Key. Victoria is a qualified Chartered Marketer who has gained significant experience in health and social care leader, youth and community sector.


Anne Breeze, Senior Administrator

Anne is qualified and experienced Trainer with a strong background in Business and ICT delivery, training course and curriculum development. Anne’s role within Social Enterprise Acumen means she is responsible for the smooth running of the office, and for liaising with Staff and Associates. Her duties include producing documents for events and meetings, maintaining Social Enterprise Acumen’s records and filing systems, preparing claims, and processing sales and purchases invoices in Sage.


Sarah-Jane Silvester, Consultant

Innovative and collaborative, Sarah-Jane brings a blend of corporate commercialism and creative entrepreneurship to the Social Enterprise sector. From start-ups to public sector, to  FTSE 100’s, she is known for applying an enquiring mind to everyday challenges and for leading transformational change projects in businesses introducing advanced technologies and new ways of working.

A pioneer of Cultural Auditing in the UK, Sarah-Jane is a passionate advocate for inclusion, a trusted executive coach, a mentor to founders and a life-long mentee. Her mission for the 20’s is to encourage businesses to engage with diverse, innovative suppliers, truly embrace corporate responsibility and strengthen resilience in local communities.


Jill Webb, MSc, Associate

Jill Webb (MSc) is a freelance trainer and consultant.  Specialist area include  working with not for profit organisations around business planning, governance and impact.  Alongside 8 years’ experience of managing a large voluntary organisation, Jill has managed local authority services for a number of years so she brings a range of experience to her work with us.