iSE | iSE Announces New CEO

Dr Steve Harding, on behalf of the iSE Board, is delighted to welcome Cathy Brown as iSE’s new CEO to help the organisation take forward the growth of social enterprise building on the outstanding work of Sarah Crawley.


iSE is leading social enterprise development organisation that since 2000 has worked to support, grow and develop the social enterprise sector locally, nationally and internationally.

Cathy brings over 30 years of experience across the public, private and third sectors including delivering strategic transformation programmes for a FTSE100 company.

As former Executive Director for Engage for Success (the UK’s movement for employee engagement) and the Operations Director for The Employee Ownership Association, Cathy has wide ranging experience in raising awareness and providing practical guidance to organisations looking to improve workplace experience and performance through many different business models.

Cathy engages and energises audiences around business change, leadership and the social economy. She passionately believes that helping people find a better way to work can make a big difference to people’s lives, their organisations and ultimately to the country.



Cathy Brown said: “the opportunity to join iSE, at such an important time for the city of Birmingham and its people, is one I am thrilled to be taking on. There are challenges ahead, but some great opportunities too and I look forward to working with our West Midlands social entrepreneurs to strengthen the local social economy”.

Cathy takes over the reins from Sarah Crawley OBE who for over 20 years has lead iSE as a sustainable social enterprise business at the heart of the social enterprise movement, creating social impact in the city and achieving many ‘firsts’, including recognition for Birmingham and Digbeth as official SEUK Social Enterprise Places.

iSE has had an incredible 20 plus years under Sarah’s leadership and will be a sad and emotional farewell to many in the sector who have worked closely with Sarah to bring social enterprise to the fore in the city, region, nationally and internationally..

Sarah said: “While I’m very sad my time at iSE has come to a close, I am delighted to handing over to Cathy who will, no doubt, take iSE to further highs and embrace the opportunities emerging post COVID19. I would like to take this opportunity to wish her and the team every success.”

Cathy will be working alongside Sarah throughout June as she ‘hands over the reins’ and will take over as iSEs new CEO on the 1st of July. We hope you will join us in wishing Sarah farewell and welcoming Cathy to iSE, as we look ahead with positivity to our future.

Steve Harding on behalf of iSE Board