Business adviser for the Enterprise Trust
(local enterprise agency covering Pennine Lancashire)


Associate tutor to The Co-operative College, specialising in governance and business development – lead associate on worker co-ops and social enterprise programmes


Development of framework to identify the economic impact of micro-providers of health and social care services as part of a pilot national programme


Unparalleled research into training issues, needs and cultures of co-operative and social enterprises, with the findings benchmarked against charities and private sector (see report – ‘training issues for…’). Findings from this study were used to successfully secure resources for sector-specific training and support programmes


Drafted ‘how to’ guides on undertaking feasibility studies for social enterprise support network to disseminate to its members


Successful delivery of 12 month ESF project in 5 months to support co-operatives and social enterprises to develop their business and management skills for Cambridge Co-operative Development Agency


Led discussion groups within a regional & national project exploring how churches can create and support social enterprise

previous arrow
next arrow

Adrian Ashton

I’m a recognised, approved and accredited provider of advice, consultancy, training and research to various social enterprises, charities, sector bodies and other organisations.

As you’ll see from the examples listed in my portfolio I work across various fields and I’m also a published commentator on policy and sector issues.

Award Winning Freelance Enterprise & Charity Consultant

Adrian Ashton is an independent freelance social enterprise and charity consultant/advisor based in the UK. Adrian has been assisting start-ups and existing enterprises and charities for over 16 years as a freelancer. Adrian continues to hold enviable reputations with sector bodies, academic institutions, and others, for the quality of his insight and support to a wide range of charities and enterprises of all types

Although he ‘bucks conventional wisdom’ by not having a specific niche or specialism, he nonetheless remains in demand to support the delivery of national pilot schemes with government departments, Charities both existing and start-ups, regional growth programmes, and sector-specific specialist bodies

Latest Videos



Twitter feed is not available at the moment.

How Can You Start A Charity or Social Enterprise in The UK?

His initial background prior to launching his own freelance consultancy service, which includes developing loan funds for existing and start up charities and social enterprise, corporate PR, and franchise management, means that he draws on a wide range of disciplines and experiences to supplement ongoing research he undertakes to ensure that his positions and advice remain led and informed by evidence and first-hand experience.

As such, he has been commissioned by organisations within a range of sectors to support several themes, a sample of which includes:

  • Developing and delivering an in-prison programme for offenders to help them launch their own enterprises on release as a route to employment
  • Supporting the creation of new university degree enterprise modules
  • Managing mergers between charities, as well as succession processes for their senior management and Boards of Trustees
  • Working with the Department of Justice to create new social enterprise consortia and models that would enable the state to be able to commission more rehabilitation services from this sector, in line with national policy
  • Undertaking evaluations of multi-year programmes on behalf of the Department of Health, grant making bodies to the charity sector, and similar
  • Developing new training courses and programmes (both vocational and accredited) around a range of themes for local authorities, charities, high growth private firms, co-operative and social enterprises, enterprise educators, and other consultants
  • Creating new models of workspace and incubation for enterprises around themes of rural, homelessness, multiple deprivation, and such like (some of which have since been realised)

Contact Adrian Today For a Free No Obligation Consultation

Whether you are looking into setting up a new charity, social enterprise or you are looking at new procedures Adrian has the knowledge and expertise as a freelance consultant to make your organisation a successful one. Contact Adrion to arrange an initial consultation and discuss your requirements.